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Google Chiefs Back Startup Mining Asteroids for Metals

Google Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt are among the backers of a venture to mine asteroids for trillions of dollars of precious metals, as Earth’s resources become strained.

Planetary Resources Inc., based in Seattle, aims to launch a telescopic space surveyor into Earth’s low orbit in less than two years to identify potential metal- and water-rich asteroids and begin prospecting within four years, co-founder Eric Anderson, 37, said in a telephone interview.