Planetary Resources Pivots Again: From Asteroid Mining to Block Chain

NEW YORK (ConsenSys PR) — Blockchain venture production studio ConsenSys, Inc. has acquired the pioneering space company Planetary Resources, Inc. through an asset-purchase transaction. Planetary Resources’ President & CEO Chris Lewicki and General Counsel Brian Israel have joined ConsenSys in connection with the acquisition.

Previously, Chris Lewicki worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as Flight Director of the Spirit & Opportunity Mars rovers and Phoenix Mars lander before co-founding and leading Planetary Resources.

“Over the course of nearly a decade, Planetary Resources has simultaneously pioneered technology, business, law and policy, and brought the promise of space resources irreversibly closer to humankind’s grasp,” said Lewicki. “I am proud of our team’s extraordinary accomplishments, grateful to our visionary supporters, and delighted to join ConsenSys in building atop our work to expand humanity’s economic sphere of influence into the Solar System.”

From 2009 until joining Planetary Resources in 2017, Brian Israel served in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where he was responsible for the international legal dimensions of outer space, oceans and international environmental governance matters, and served as U.S. Representative to the United Nations space law body.

“Ethereum smart contract functionality is a natural solution for private-ordering and commerce in space—the only domain of human activity not ordered around territorial sovereignty—in which a diverse range of actors from a growing number of countries must coordinate and transact,” said Israel.

Ethereum Co-founder and ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin said, “I admire Planetary Resources for its world class talent, its record of innovation, and for inspiring people across our planet in support of its bold vision for the future. Bringing deep space capabilities into the ConsenSys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution. And it reflects our belief in democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to unite our species and unlock untapped human potential. We look forward to sharing our plans and how to join us on this journey in the months ahead.”

ConsenSys will operate its space initiatives out of Planetary Resources’ former facility in Redmond, WA.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I predict Virgin Galactic is next. How could Sir Richard Branson possibility resist the popularity of blockchain, the new magic wand for solving everything 🙂

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I would imagine crypto currencies are mainly backed by black market dollars coming in as a means of laundering. If so, these crypto currencies probably have some real bite to them. If so could a questionable business out on a limb survive a normal business model failure by dealing between both currencies? Not to mention will start ups be able to bypass SEC regulation by having people invest with crypto currencies using ConsenSys’ exo-state exo-legal contracting system to maintain ownership chains of shares?

  • MzUnGu

    Am betting Statolaunch is the next unicorn that goes back to the forest before VG…

  • duheagle

    Stay tuned.

  • duheagle

    Stratolaunch seems to have been well taken care of in Mr. Allen’s will. So far, what has been built is a big carrier airplane. Even VG didn’t have any real problems building a carrier airplane. And given that Stratolaunch isn’t planning to go down the hybrid rocket motor rabbit hole, its various recently announced planned rockets should present no insuperable difficulties either. Whether all the foregoing arrives soon enough to be a significant factor in the launch market is another matter.

    As for the launch market itself, the decline in orders for big GEO birds is occurring because smallsat constellations are now pretty much agreed to be The Next Big Thing in space-based telecom. GEO isn’t exactly going to become a ghost town, but it also isn’t going to dominate the space-based telecom business to the extent it has until now. Any prediction of “excess capacity in the launcher biz” is a product of tunnel vision.