The company's Arkyd line of robotic spacecraft will scan for asteroids and ultimately mine them for precious metals.

Planetary Resources is a private company run by commercial space veterans and backed deep-pocketed investors including Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Ross Perot Jr.

But that hasn’t stopped thousands of people from inquiring about putting money into the company, hoping for a piece of the ultimate payout from mining near-Earth asteroids.

The Bellevue-based company this morning distributed its first email update to people who have signed up to follow the venture online. Distributed under the subject line, “Mining Asteroids!”, the email was a recap of the company’s goals and a summary of the “outpouring of enthusiasm” that Planetary Resources has seen since announcing its plans.

One of the stats: “2,500+ investment requests.” (Presumably they passed on all of them, although the email doesn’t say that explicitly, and it’s not clear how many of the inquiries were legitimate.)

The email is signed by company co-founders Peter Diamandis (of the X Prize Foundation) and Eric Anderson (of the Space Adventures space tourism company). Here’s how it concludes …

Clearly the vision, dreams, ambition and plans have ignited a ton of enthusiasm.

The technology now exists to access resources from Near Earth Asteroids and it is our corporate mission to make this happen.

We are pursuing this for three key reasons:

1. Access to space resources is critical to human settlement of the solar system

2. Access to space resources are critical to humanity’s continued growth and prosperity on Earth

3. To realize the once-in-a-generation opportunity for huge financial returns as well.

Once such returns are possible, opening the space frontier for humanity will rapidly follow as it did with the New World and the American West.

Over the months ahead we will be keeping you up to date on our progress and creating opportunities for you to be involved.

Thank you again for your enthusiasm and interest.

Stay tuned.

You’re going to hear from us again soon….

Keep your eyes out for the subject line: The Final Frontier 

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before,

Peter H. Diamandis                        Eric C. Anderson
Co-Chairman/Co-Founder             Co-Chairman/Co-Founder

Previously on GeekWire: Asteroid mining company flooded with job applications

 

Comments

  • dollared

    2500 people ready to invest in junior miners on the Vancouver Stock Exchange.

  • http://twitter.com/amal amal graafstra

    If they are going to quote Star Trek, then I think some real serious work needs to be put into ensuring a set of rules for the future of space mining that ride along the same lines as Star Trek’s Prime Directive. Laying this kind of foundation now may seem premature, but I think real applications could be made now, during the “design phase”. 

    For example, ensuring the satellites they send out to investigate these rocks also carry a science payload that looks not only for palladium, but for organic molecules as well. If such molecules are found, mark the rock for scientific exploration BEFORE drilling the crap out of it. Once the science nerds are done, then it’s drill baby drill. 

    Without such a “directive” in place, I have a hard time thinking any commercial venture will hold off of destroying such evidence for life in space when there is 1.2 billion dollars worth of rare metals sitting behind a few organic molecules… not to mention when we leverage the ability to destroy an entire planet, only to crack it up into “manageable pieces”. Think cracking a planet is impossible? Take a look at Tesla’s work in resonance. My point here is that we need some sort of groundwork for this stuff to be developed right alongside the mining and resource recovery operations, or we will definitely grow up to be the horrible space aliens that consume planets and decimate any life there in the process.

  • http://www.spacedevcoop.com/ Louis

    When we blast and crush and melt and chemically react with the rocks here on Earth for our mining needs, do we first look at the rock and the environment on a microscopic scale for life we may be destroying? the answer is; No. Though many mining ventures on Earth endeavor to minimize their environmental impact they could still be wiping out an, as of yet, undiscovered micro organism.

    The same would be true of any “space” based mining though I believe that most would at least try and determine if there is evidence of life. It is quite possible that an asteroid mining venture would include some scientific equipment for analysis of potential organisms since this could provide a cost offset to the mining venture.

    Planetary Resources is possibly the highest profile but certainly not the ‘only’ group pursuing space mining. Check out Space development cooperative as an alternative with even grander objectives.

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