Planetary Resources, the asteroid-mining company backed by some of the biggest names in technology and aerospace, just announced a big investment and new partnership with one of the world’s leading engineering companies.
Bechtel Corporation, the largest construction and engineering company in the U.S. with 53,000 employees across 50 countries, has joined Planetary’s core group of investors and will collaborate with the Bellevue-based company to mine near-Earth, resource-rich asteroids.
The company did not release details on investments, but co-founder Peter Diamandis tweeted this, noting Bechtel as a “major investor”:
Proud to announce that Bechtel Corp has joined Planetary Resources as a major Investor & engineering partner. http://t.co/pkz65Mrz8I
— Peter Diamandis (@PeterDiamandis) April 16, 2013
Bechtel was founded in 1898 and has worked on several immense projects, including the construction of the Hoover Dam. The company has posted record revenues for the past five years, and Engineering News-Record (ENR) has named Bechtel the top U.S. construction contractor for 14 straight years.
“Planetary Resources’ mission is ambitious, but they’ve assembled a world-class team to succeed,” Riley Bechtel, Bechtel Chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “Our companies share a common vision to continually innovate and push boundaries, all aimed at contributing to a better quality of life. We look forward to joining the Planetary Resources’ team.”
There are already several big-names backing Planetary, from movie maker James Cameron to Google co-founder Larry Page to businessman Ross Perot Jr.
“These people believe that space access is critically dependent upon the resources in the asteroids, as do we,” co-founder Eric Anderson said earlier this month at a Hacker News Meetup.
Planetary will be providing a tech update on April 24 during a Google Hang Out to celebrate the company’s one year anniversary of its initial public announcement.
They’ll review the past year at Planetary, go over the current development of the Arkyd series of spacecraft, and provide an outlook to the future of asteroid prospecting, exploration and mining. The company will also take questions from the internet audience.
Previously on GeekWire: Planetary Resources founder: ‘Humans will migrate off the Earth in the next 30 years