Formed in 2010 to mine asteroids so its founders could become the world’s first trillionaires, Planetary Resources has now pivoted to developing “TruSat, an open source, open-sensor system for creating a globally-accessible, independent record of satellite orbital positions.”
The company, now known as ConsenSys Space after it was acquired last year by a blockchain software technology startup, made the announcement on Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC.
A message from ConsenSys Space’s Chris Lewicki follows.
Dear friends, supporters, and fans of Planetary Resources,
As you may know, Planetary Resources was acquired by ConsenSys this time last year. Earlier this week, at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC, the ConsenSys Space team and I had the pleasure of unveiling what we have been working on. I would like to take this opportunity to share our mission with you, what it means to me, and how to join me on this journey.
ConsenSys Space is building collaboration platforms to democratize, diversify, and decentralize space endeavors. This week we released our first collaboration program, TruSat, an open source, open-sensor system for creating a globally-accessible, independent record of satellite orbital positions. You can read more at TruSat.org. From building the prototype we released this week to an open, trusted tool for assessing satellite operations in the context of space sustainability standards, will depend on the creative contributions of an active community of open-source developers and a global community of citizen satellite trackers.
TruSat is our first effort, and an experiment in creating opportunities for any person to be a direct participant in space endeavors. This is what democratizing space endeavors means to us. TruSat will offer anyone in the world opportunities to make direct, measurable contributions to the long-term sustainability of spaceflight — to be part of the solution — and the software platform will assemble these individually small contributions into a collective capability on a scale only governments have fielded.
With Planetary Resources, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet fellow people inspired by the draw of space around the world, collaborate with heads of government, share time with leads of world-changing companies, and connect with ambitious entrepreneurs making their own bet on the future. I also appreciated the daily inspiration from a flood of supportive and excited interest from 5 year olds to 105 year olds from all walks of life. It’s clear to me that our future in space will need to be as diverse as the perspectives and experiences of all the individuals on planet Earth, and our successful transition to a space-faring civilization will need to work through the worst, and leverage the best — of all of us. This is what it means to us to diversify space endeavors.
As an aerospace systems engineer, I’m intrigued and optimistic about the potential of technologies to decentralize many familiar aspects of our daily lives, for the benefit and improvement of all involved. Central control and coordination (of anything) will be challenging and limiting when the human economy is interplanetary. Now is a great time to start testing solutions and contributions that can be made from a decentralized effort drawing from a planetary-scale pool of talent, energy and ideas. This is what it means to us to decentralize space endeavors.
I’m as committed as ever to a future for humanity in space, enabled by a space resources economy. Planetary Resources facilitated a huge forward-step in progress in technology, business prospects, and mindset – and we’re seeing similar step’s forward across the entire space industry. I believe that decentralizing, democratizing and diversifying space endeavors can be a pivotal next forward step.
I have been inspired by so many of you, who asked at every step of Planetary Resources’ history: How can I get involved? How can I help? How can I invest? The answer, unfortunately, was that you couldn’t in most cases. It is hard for private corporation to facilitate true involvement, and securities laws are restrictive on who can invest. Maybe we can create new paths to participation? You are a major source of my motivation for creating opportunities for direct participation in bold space endeavors.
This will be the final email you will receive via the Planetary Resources mail list – if you’d like to continue to receive updates, please subscribe at trusat.org/join
Planetary Resources’ Social Media accounts will shortly change over to ConsenSys Space. I hope you will continue to follow me there, and try your hand at tracking a satellite with the resources at TruSat.org to help you.
Clear skies and steady stars to guide you,