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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Asteroid entrepreneur

I'm sorry to read that Jim Benson, the founder of SpaceDev, has passed away. I interviewed him a decade ago, and I think he was, in a good way, ahead of his time. It may be hard to believe amid the current economy, but the era of people owning asteroids and such is still on the way.
Jim Benson plans to declare ownership of an asteroid orbiting between Earth and Mars. And he doesn't much care what the United Nations has to say about it. "If the U.N. doesn't like it, they can send a tank up to my asteroid, which of course they can't," he told the San Francisco Examiner this past February. In an interview with REASON, the 53-year-old entrepreneur is in a less belligerent mood, but the gist of his message remains the same. "There's really no entity to which such a claim of ownership can be made," he explains. "Therefore I believe it just needs to be made to the public in general."

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