Planetary Resources to Auction off Equipment

Well, this doesn’t sound good.

In a fresh sign of the financial straits facing Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company will be auctioning off hundreds of items from its headquarters in Redmond, Wash., ranging from industrial-strength CNC machine tools and 3-D printers to laptops and folding chairs.

The online auction will be conducted by James G. Murphy & Co. from Aug. 21 to 28, with a preview scheduled on Aug. 27 at Planetary Resources’ machine shop, lab and offices at 6742 185th Ave. NE in Redmond.

“We are preparing to sell some equipment that we’ve identified as not currently needed and easily replaceable,” Chris Lewicki, Planetary Resources’ president, CEO and chief asteroid miner, told GeekWire in an email. “This is a result of reducing overhead as we go forward with our smaller team.”

Word is the company is down to a handful of employees. Asteroid mining is a long-term venture; Planetary Resources hasn’t found a revenue model that can get it from here to there.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I am not surprised. They seem to be looking so far ahead they neglected, like many space startups, to focus on some near term markets for revenue generation. Your long term goal may be to drive the swamp, but you need to also get rid of the alligators along the way.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Man, if I had a few grand to spare, I’d go for some of those machine tools. Excepting that Bridgeport series 1, those are some sweet machines.

  • Vladislaw

    What surprises me it the who’s who list of founders/investors and that they seemed cash strapped from day 1 ?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    From my years of attending Space Access conferences it seemed investors liked to invest the bare minimum and demand that the founders go to their friends and family as well as put everything of value they had as individuals up as collateral on loans in order to ensure the founders were vested in the enterprise and were not running a startup as a shortcut to high paying executive job titles.

  • The fact they started with that Kickstarter was a dead giveaway. The “investors” were really just advisors. They got their name associated with something cool, but clearly didn’t have to put up real money.

  • Paul451

    What’s wrong with the Bridgeport?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Bridgeport series 1’s column’s are flimsy. They’re really milling machines better aimed at aluminum in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll bet this particular machine was totally restored with minimal backlash, and newly scraped ways and work surface, I just think the Bridgeport Series 1 column is wimpy. Just about every machine in the same class is much stiffer and you’ll see they weigh in a few hundred lbs more than a series 1. Bridgeport would eventually address this, by the time they started the Series 1 CNC BOSS product line they beefed up the column and replaced the ram J head with a unicast head stock fixed to the column.