Tag: Planetary Resources

Be an Asteroid Hunter in NASA’s First Asteroid Grand Challenge Contest Series

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter contest series will offer $35,000 in awards over the next six months to citizen scientists who develop improved algorithms that can be used to identify asteroids.

This contest series is being conducted in partnership with Planetary Resources Inc. of Bellevue, Wash. The first contest in the series will kick off on March 17. Prior to the kick off, competitors can create an account on the contest series website and learn more about the rules and different phases of the contest series by going to:

http://bit.ly/AsteroidHunters

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NASA, Planetary Resources Sign Agreement to Crowdsource Asteroid Detection

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These photos show the relative size of three asteroids that have been imaged at close range by spacecraft. Mathilde (37 x 29 miles) (left) was taken by the NEAR spacecraft on June 27, 1997. Images of the asteroids Gaspra (middle) and Ida (right) were taken by the Galileo spacecraft in 1991 and 1993, respectively. Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/NEAR and Galileo missions

(Credits: NASA/JPL/NEAR and Galileo missions)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and Planetary Resources Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., are partnering to develop crowd-sourced software solutions to enhance detection of near-Earth objects using agency-funded data. The agreement is NASA’s first partnership associated with the agency’s Asteroid Grand Challenge.

Under a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement, Planetary Resources will facilitate the use of NASA-funded sky survey data and help support the algorithm competition and review results. NASA will develop and manage the contests and explore use of the best solutions for enhancing existing survey programs. The first contest is expected to launch early in 2014 based on Planetary Resources’ and Zooniverse’s Asteroid Zoo platform currently in development. The partnership was announced Thursday at NASA’s Asteroid Initiative Ideas Synthesis Workshop in Houston.

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DARPA Awards Arkyd SBIR Phase I Contract for Spacecraft Hypervisor

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Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd Astronautics, a company owned by Planetary Resources, has been selected by DARPA for  2013 SBIR Phase I award for a project to incorporate hypervisor-based software virtualization into spacecraft architectures. I know that’s a mouthful; the benefits of it are described in the company’s abstract below.

Arkyd was one of four companies working on hypervisor technology that DARPA selected for Phase I awards. The other companies were: DornerWorks, Ltd., of  Grand Rapids, MI; Emergent Space Technologies, Inc., of Greenbelt, MD; and Intelligent Automation, Inc., of Rockville, MD.  All the abstracts are below.

DARPA 2013 SBIR Phase I Awards
Hypervisor Software Virtualization

Arkyd Astronautics, Inc.
Bellevue, WA
PI:  Ray Ramadorai
Title: Spacecraft Hypervisor Implementing Modularity and Security (SHIMS)

Abstract: Incorporating hypervisor-based software virtualization into spacecraft architectures offers the capability to integrate payload software in a plug-and-play fashion, enabling more flexible and reconfigurable platforms. The hypervisor allows the payload software to be implemented in an abstracted, virtualized environment, which isolates the payload software from core spacecraft functions and offers significant advantages for payload development efficiency, modularity, re-use, integration, and test. Continue reading ‘DARPA Awards Arkyd SBIR Phase I Contract for Spacecraft Hypervisor’

Planetary Resources Joins CSF Executive Membership

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csf_logo_newestWashington D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is proud to announce that Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, has joined CSF’s Executive Membership. The company had been an Associate Member since January 2012. Planetary Resources’ President and Chief Engineer Chris Lewicki will be the newest addition to CSF’s Board of Directors.

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Diamandis Joins 3D Systems’ Board of Directors

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peter_diamandisEditor’s Note: Strangely unmentioned in the press release below is the announcement last month that 3D Systems “had joined Planetary Resources’ core group of investors and will be a collaborative partner in assisting Planetary Resources to develop and manufacture components of its ARKYD Series of spacecraft using its advanced 3D printing and digital manufacturing solutions.” This is one of Diamandis’ companies. You think that would be relevant, but apparently not.

ROCK HILL, S.C., July 24, 2013 (3D Systems PR) – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that its Board of Directors has elected Peter H. Diamandis a director of the company.

Dr. Peter Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.  Diamandis is also the co-Founder & Executive Chairman of the Singularity University, a Silicon Valley based institution teaching graduates and executives about exponentially growing technologies and their potential to address humanity’s grand challenges.

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Need a Job? Big and Small Space Companies Needed Skilled Workers

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The Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Lauren Hepler takes a look at some of the big and small space companies that are hiring right now:

Elon Musk’s space transportation startup Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is currently looking for about 200 employees, including highly technical roles in engineering and manufacturing (see the graphic to the right for a breakdown of open jobs). And it’s not just SpaceX.

“We’re hiring,” said Chris Lewicki, president and chief engineer of asteroid mining company Planetary Resources. “We take software developers of all disciplines.”

The company — which currently has about 40 employees ranging from NASA alums like Lewicki to high school interns — is also in the market for individuals well-versed in embedded hardware applications….

Even when departing from the world of startups, finding aerospace talent can be daunting. At Palo Alto-based commercial satellite company SSL, formerly known as Space Systems/Loral, the breadth of knowledge needed presents a challenge.

Read the full story.

CubeSats Personalized, Eyed for Interplanetary Missions

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You can read the full story by Alan Boyle and Matt Rivera here.

Meanwhile, a team from the University of Michigan’s Aerospace Engineering Department has launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a plasma thruster capable of sending CubeSats beyond Earth orbit. The team’s partners include Planetary Resources and three NASA centers.

We are currently developing the CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT), a new plasma propulsion system which will push small spacecraft like CubeSats around in orbit or far beyond the Earth.

This new thruster technology will enable us to send low-cost satellites from the Earth to distant destinations in the Solar System. You can be a part of space exploration history! By contributing to the CAT, you can help future spacecraft make amazing discoveries about extraterrestrial bodies and further our understanding of the near-Earth environment, the Solar System, and beyond. Who knows, maybe we’ll even be able to find life on those beckoning watery moons of Jupiter or Saturn!

 Please follow Parabolic Arc on Facebook and Twitter.

Planetary Resources Raises $1.5 Million on Kickstarter

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Bellevue, Washington, July 1, 2013 (Planetary Resources PR) –
Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, successfully completed its crowdfunding campaign yesterday to launch ARKYD – the world’s first public space telescope. Over the course of the 33-day campaign, the company generated support from more than 17,600 backers who pledged US$1,505,366 for the cause. This marks the most successful crowdfunding effort for a space project and ranks the ARKYD campaign among the top 25 projects in Kickstarter history.

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Branson Joins Planetary Resources Core Group of Investors

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This bit of news came in an email from Chris Lewicki during the closing hours of Planetary Resources’ Kickstarter campaign:

We are pleased to announce that Sir Richard Branson has joined Planetary Resources’ core group of investors.

“I’m excited to be part of the Planetary Resources’ team working on extracting precious minerals from near Earth asteroids.  The only way to truly explore our Solar System is to develop the technology and means to sustain our presence in space without depleting resources of Earth.” – Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group.

AND . . . he is so excited that the ARKYD will provide unprecedented public access to space, he has generously made his own campaign pledge of $100,000 to support interactive programming to strengthen STEM education, and to move us closer to our remaining three stretch goals.

The remaining stretch goals have been reduced by $100,000 thanks Sir Richard Branson’s substantial pledge to ARKYD – A Space Telescope For Everyone.

Planetary Resources’ main investors include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Google Co-founder and President Larry Page, Google Fouding Board Member K. Ram Shriram, H. Ross Perot, Jr., and Charles Simonyi. All except Simonyi are on Forbes 2013 list of billionaires.

Other investors include: Robert Hariri, MD, Executive Chairman, Celegene Therapeutics; Rena Shulsky David, president and CEO of Shire Realty; Raymie Stata, entrepreneur and former Chief Technology Officer of Yahoo! and Kimberly Sweidy; and John C. Whitehead, former Chair and CEO of Goldman Sachs and 9th U.S. Deputy Secretary of State.

3D Systems Announces Investment, Collaboration Deal with Planetary Resources

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Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, June 26, 2013 (3D Systems PR) –- 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Planetary Resources, Inc. today announced that 3D Systems has joined Planetary Resources’ core group of investors and will be a collaborative partner in assisting Planetary Resources to develop and manufacture components of its ARKYD Series of spacecraft using its advanced 3D printing and digital manufacturing solutions.

Continue reading ’3D Systems Announces Investment, Collaboration Deal with Planetary Resources’