In Pictures: The sizzling world of asteroids

From new space mining venture to causing the end of the world, asteroids are a hot topic

Chris Lewicki (R), president and chief engineer of Planetary Resources, and Peter Diamandis, co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources. Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt and filmmaker James Cameron are among those bankrolling a venture to survey and eventually extract precious metals and rare minerals from asteroids that orbit near Earth, the company said. Planetary Resources, based in Bellevue, Wash., initially will focus on developing and selling extremely low-cost robotic spacecraft for surveying missions.

Credit: Cliff DesPeaux / Reuters

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