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Planetary Resources Hits Bump in the Road

Arkyd-6 spacecraft (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Alan Boyle at GeekWire reports that asteroid mining company Planetary Resources has been forced to make some cutbacks.

A spokeswoman for Planetary Resources, Stacey Tearne, told GeekWire that financial challenges have forced the company to focus on leveraging the Arkyd-6 mission for near-term revenue — apparently by selling imagery and data.

“Planetary Resources missed a fundraising milestone,” Tearne explained in an email. “The company remains committed to utilizing the resources from space to further explore space, but is focusing on near-term revenue streams by maximizing the opportunity of having a spacecraft in orbit.”

Tearne said no further information was available, and did not address questions about employment cutbacks. However, reports from other sources in the space community suggest there have been notable job reductions. For what it’s worth, Planetary Resources had more than 70 employees at last report.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • February 21, 2018
Planetary Resources Announces $21.1 Million Funding Round For Sat Constellation
Ceres constellation (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Ceres constellation (Credit: Planetary Resources)

REDMOND, Wash.,  May 26, 2016 (Planetary Resources PR) – Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today that it has secured US$21.1 million in Series A funding. The capital will be used to deploy and operate Ceres, an advanced Earth observation business that features the first commercial infrared and hyperspectral sensor platform to better understand and manage humanity’s natural resources.

The funding was led by Bryan Johnson and the OS FUND; and joined by Idea Bulb Ventures; Tencent; Vast Ventures; Grishin Robotics; Conversion Capital; The Seraph Group; Space Angels Network, a syndication of investors from; and Larry Page. Earth observation will be another aspect of Planetary Resources’ operations in addition to prospecting and mining asteroids.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • May 26, 2016
Planetary Resources Shelves Arkyd Space Selfies Due to Lack of Funding
Arkyd-3 satellite (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd-3 satellite (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Asteroid mining company Planetary Resources sent out the following cancellation and refund message today has been sent to supporters of its ARKYD Kickstarter. The campaign raised money so people could send pictures of themselves into space that would be displayed with Earth in the background.

According to the message, Planetary Resources was only going to launch the satellite if it got other people to give them even more money to fly the mission. That funding was which was not forthcoming from the multiple billionaires that back Planetary Resources (Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Richard Branson among them) or anyone else the company targeted for funding.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • May 26, 2016
Mojave Journal: The Ansari X Prize’s Awkward Family Reunion
Ansari X Prize 10th anniversary panel discussion on Oct. 4, 2014.

Ansari X Prize 10th anniversary panel discussion on Oct. 4, 2014.

One Year Ago, the Ansari X Prize Turned 10
It Was an Uncomfortable Birthday

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The planes kept coming and coming. One after another, they swooped out of a blue desert sky and touched down on the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port. By mid-morning there were at least a dozen private jets stretched along the flight line running east from the Voyager restaurant toward the control tower. And even more were on their way.

And to what did Mojave owe this ostentatious display of wealth by the 1 percenters? They had come to the sun-splashed spaceport last Oct. 4 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ansari X Prize. A decade earlier, Burt Rutan and his Paul Allen-funded team had won $10 million for sending the first privately-built manned vehicle into space twice within a two-week period.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • October 5, 2015
Musk, Page, Bezos & Branson Lead List of Disruptive Innovators

SpaceX’s Elon Musk, Google’s Larry Page,’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson has been named the most effective CEO’s in achieving disruptive innovation among established companies in a new survey. The poll was conducted by Big Think, where important people ponder big things, and the Singularity University, which puts the exponent in  exponential technology.  The poll was apparently taken in January and involved an unidentified number of […]

  • Parabolic Arc
  • March 5, 2015
Number of Billionaires Investing in Space Projects Grows

Forbes has published its annual list of the planet’s billionaires. A small but growing number of them are either directly supporting major space projects or doing so through the companies that they run. FORBES RANK NAME AGE 2015 NET WORTH (BILLIONS) SOURCE(S) OF WEALTH SPACE INVESTMENT(S)  15 Jeff Bezos 51  $34.8 Blue Origin 16 Mark Zuckerberg 30  $33.4 Facebook Global satellite network 19 Larry Page 41 $29.7  Google SpaceX, […]

  • Parabolic Arc
  • March 3, 2015
Planetary Resources Does Davos

Fortune Magazine’s Stephen Gandel is over in Davos, Switzerland this week, hobnobbing with the rich, famous and brilliant attendees who meet to contemplate solutions to the planet’s many problems at the World Economic Forum. He has an entertaining piece about bumping into Planetary Resources’ President (and Chief Asteroid Miner) Chris Lewicki at a wine bar. Apparently, their discussion didn’t go much deeper than a description of the company’s plans to […]

  • Parabolic Arc
  • January 23, 2015
Is a Google-Virgin Galactic Deal in the Works?

While Elon Musk’s lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force has dominated the headlines, another development with the potential to restructure the space industry has flown completely under the radar: a deepening relationship between Virgin Galactic and Google.

Overt the past month, Virgin Galactic conducted a series of Google Hangouts about its space tourism program in conjunction with the Google Science Fair. One hangout featured VG Vice President William Pomerantz and Richard Branson’s son, Sam; a second had three engineers live from The Spaceship Company’s FAITH hangar in Mojave, Calif; and a third featured two ticket holders who will be aboard future SpaceShipTwo suborbital tourism flights.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • May 11, 2014
Is Google Planning Son of Teledesic?
A P3 Navy aircraft with Hangar One at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.  (Copyright 2008: Douglas Messier)

A P3 Navy aircraft with Hangar One at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. (Copyright 2008: Douglas Messier)

Clark Lindsey over at New Space Watch  reports on the following rumor from Silicon Valley:

NSG Analysts have heard from several usually reliable industry sources that a major company, possibly “Google or Facebook,” could be announcing the launch of a very large constellation of satellites in the near future.

“Very large constellation” is defined as up to 1,600 small satellites. Based on information Parabolic Arc has received, the story seems to be true. Google appears to be pursuing a plan to provide global broadband services that is similar to a failed attempt by a company called Teledesic.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • February 16, 2014
Not Many Billionaires Focused on Commercial Space

Richard Branson and then-Gov. Bill Richardson. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s billionaires. There are a record 1,426 individuals with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion in the world. The table below shows the tiny handful of this group — nine individuals — who are currently or have been previously involved in space projects.

Rank Name Net Worth (Billions) Age Nationality Company/
Space Project(s)


Jeff Bezos $25.2 49 American CEO, Founder Blue Origin


Larry Page $23.0 39 American Google CEO, Co-founder Google Lunar X Prize, Planetary Resources
21 Sergey Brin $22.8 39 American Google Co-founder Google Lunar X Prize
53 Paul Allen $15.0 60 American Microsoft Co-founder Stratolaunch, SpaceShipOne
SETI array
138 Eric Schmidt $8.2 57 American Google Chairman Google Lunar X Prize, Planetary Resources
272 Richard Branson $4.6 62 British Virgin Group CEO, Founder Virgin Galactic
527 Elon Musk $2.7 41 American PayPal, Tesla Motors, Solar City SpaceX
831 Guy Laliberte $1.8 53 Canadian Cirque du Soleil Space tourist
1031 H. Ross Perot, Jr. $1.4 54 American computer services, real estate Planetary Resources


  • Parabolic Arc
  • March 5, 2013