Leo is the first
private space telescope
 
Seattle, United States — 19 April 2013 – Asteroid resource company Planetary Resources has announced that major engineering, project management and construction company Bechtel has joined its core group of investors, and will be a partner in helping the company to achieve its long-term mission.

Its mission is to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials, ranging from elements used in rocket fuel to precious metals, through the development of innovative and cost-effective robotic exploration technologies.
 
Currently, Planetary Resources has multiple contracts to develop miniaturised and responsive technologies with far-reaching applications to space assessment, accessibility and resource recovery.

“As we pursue our vision to expand the resource base beyond earth, we are extremely excited to announce this partnership with Bechtel.  They are a world leader in the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) industry,” said Planetary Resources co-founder and co-chairperson Peter Diamandis.
 
“Bechtel has a history of consistently tackling the most challenging projects, beginning with the construction of the Hoover Dam more than 75 years ago,” he added.

Bechtel chairperson and CEO Riley Bechtel commented: “Planetary Resources’ mission is ambitious, but they’ve assembled a world-class team to succeed. 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.”

The company’s vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilisation that will bring the solar system within humanity’s economic sphere of influence.  It will conduct low-cost robotic space exploration, beginning with the Arkyd-100 Series of space telescope missions, that will identify the most commercially viable near-earth asteroids.  These initial missions will assist the company in enabling the retrieval of raw materials from these select asteroids, ranging from water to precious metals.

Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, three of whom are Google CEO Larry Page & executive chairman Eric Schmidt, as well as Ross Perot, Jr., chairman of Hillwood and the Perot Group, all of whom are committed to expanding the world’s resource base so that humanity can continue to grow and prosper.

Source: Planetary Resources. For more information, click here.