From Trillionaires to Open Source Ware: Planetary Resources Falls to Earth

Atari Asteroids arcade game. (Credit: James G. Murphy Co.)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

When it came out of stealth mode in 2012, Planetary Resources promised to fuel the development of the solar system and mint the world’s first trillionaires by mining the riches of the asteroids.

Eight years later, Planetary Resources’ trillionaire-making intellectual property has been open sourced for anyone to use by ConsenSys, a block chain startup that purchased the company in October 2018.

ConsenSys has turned over TruSat, a crowd sourced program to better track satellites in Earth orbit, to an independent group to develop.

And Planetary Resource’s physical assets — ranging from CNC machines to an old-style “Asteroids” arcade game — will be auctioned off to the highest bidders at the end of the month.

Why is ConsenSys making Planetary Resources innovative patents open source? Apparently, they are too value and useful not to share them, ConsenSys explained on its website.

Over the course of nearly a decade, Planetary Resources produced innovations at every step along the path to its bold mission of harnessing the natural resources of celestial bodies, from spacecraft design to tools for technical and economic analysis of resources throughout our solar system.

Consonant with ConsenSys’ belief in the power of open innovation to solve the toughest challenges, on our planet and beyond, we’re making the Planetary Resources intellectual property we own available to you to build upon, as follows.

ConsenSys irrevocably pledges that it will not initiate a lawsuit against any party for infringing a Planetary Resources Patent or Planetary Resources Intellectual Property, for so long as such party is acting in good faith.

James G. Murphy Co. will auction off 118 items from Planetary Resources at the end of the month. The online only auction starts on May 28 at 11 a.m. and ends on June 4 at 11 a.m.