We've just learned that Peter Diamandis, Eric Anderson, James Cameron, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page are launching a new venture, Planetary Resources Inc. Their goal is to focus on space exploration and the natural resources we might find there. The announcement has been greeted by a fair amount of skepticism. Theirs has been called a “quixotic quest” by the Wall Street Journal and CNBC viewers are tweeting about what these men must be smoking.
I say, thank goodness America still has visionaries who understand that we must lead in space.
I served on President Bush’s Commission on Space Exploration. This was a bi-partisan gathering of scientists, business people, policy-makers, politicians as well as the NASA Administrator. This was a group of varied political views and experiences and yet there was universal agreement that American leadership in space is vital to our national self- interest. There was also consensus that while government had to play a vital role, the private sector should play a large role as well.