As the Weather Channel`s Dave Malkoff reports, it`s all in an effort to bring the riches of outer space home.

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to bring the riches of outer space home.>

relatively cheap probe satellites to take an up close look at near Earth

asteroids. Find out how much they`re worth and, eventually, dig in with

robotic mining ships.>

CRAIG MELVIN: Seriously. As the Weather Channel`s Dave Malkoff reports, it`s all in an effort to bring the riches of outer space home.

(Begin VT)

DAVE MALKOFF: Asteroids, those hunks of rock and metal, are deep space bonanzas.

What are you trying to do? You`re trying to mine asteroids?

CHRIS LEWICKI (President, Planetary Resources): We`re creating an industry which will bring the resources of space within the economic influence of this planet.

DAVE MALKOFF: In an office building outside of Seattle, Chris Lewicki, a leader of two NASA Mars rover missions--

CHRIS LEWICKI: We`re in our manufacturing and test facilities.

DAVE MALKOFF: --is building a company Planetary Resources to mine asteroids.

CHRIS LEWICKI: This was once orbiting the sun.

DAVE MALKOFF: Let me feel that. Oh. Wow, that`s very heavy.

Some metal asteroids could be worth trillions because they contain an out of this world amount of platinum.

CHRIS LEWICKI: Hundreds of times higher concentration than the most productive mines here on earth.

DAVE MALKOFF: The company plans to launch dozens, if not hundreds, of small, relatively cheap probe satellites to take an up close look at near Earth asteroids. Find out how much they`re worth and, eventually, dig in with robotic mining ships.

So that`s it? That -- that`s your spacecraft right back there?

CHRIS LEWICKI: Yeah, this is our Arkyd 6 Satellite. It`s about the size of a cereal box.

DAVE MALKOFF: Asteroids have the metal to 3D print spaceships, water to drink and the stuff rocket fuel is made of. All finders, keepers. Is it possible that a person working in this building, you included, could become a trillionaire from this? With a T.

CHRIS LEWICKI: With a T.

DAVE MALKOFF: Yeah.

CHRIS LEWICKI: That`s something that we`re very excited about. Our investors, of course, are very excited about that, as well.

DAVE MALKOFF: And those current investors range from Google`s Larry Paige and Eric Schmidt to Sir Richard Branson. If they are successful, mining asteroids could make it possible for humans to live on other planet some day.

CHRIS LEWICKI: Here we are on this fragile blue dot unless we`re really able to get to multiple places we might go the way of the dinosaurs.

DAVE MALKOFF: At today`s cost, just one glass of water transported into space, it would cost around the thousand dollars. But if you could get the same glass of water in limitless supply from an asteroid, it would make space travel a whole lot cheaper.

For TODAY, Dave Malkoff in Redmond, Washington.

(End VT)

SHEINELLE JONES: Hm.

ERICA HILL: Wild story.

DYLAN DREYER: It`s fascinating.

SHEINELLE JONES: It sounds scary to me, the notion of messing with, you know, space.

CRAIG MELVIN: Yeah.

DYLAN DREYER: Yeah.

SHEINELLE JONES: But then at the same time, I guess, it`s a lot of platinum rings, right?

ERICA HILL: Right?

DYLAN DREYER: Well, you wonder, you know, what the consequence will be of-- of messing up the whole--

SHEINELLE JONES: Says the meteorologist. Yes.

DYLAN DREYER: --atmosphere in space.

ERICA HILL: it`s a good question.

DYLAN DREYER: Or lack thereof. Yeah.

ERICA HILL: Good question. Still to come, a medical mystery with one-- within one family, and how they found the courage to deal with what they`re facing. That`s after these messages.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

CRAIG MELVIN: We are back on a Sunday morning with a story that almost seems too impossible to be true. Jason and Stacey Bingham were living the life that they`ve dream of, happily raising their five children in a small Oregon town.

END

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