Planetary Resources gets $12M in new backing for asteroid hunt
Space technology startup Planetary Resources of Redmond has raised $12 million in new capital for its quest to mine rare metals and water on asteroids. The money raised this month from 16 investors is part of a targeted $20 million in financing, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday.
It’s the first time Planetary Resources has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to report raising funds, but when the company launched in 2009 it announced a list of founding investors that included Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google, Virgin’s Richard Branson, and Microsoft millionaire Charles Simonyi. Hollywood director James Cameron is listed as an adviser.
The company, part of a growing constellation of space ventures in the Puget Sound region, says water harvested from asteroids could be separated into hydrogen and oxygen using solar power and then utilized as rocket fuel. Asteroids whose paths come relatively close to Earth also hold valuable rare metals.
Planetary Resources is currently working on low-cost robotic exploration vehicles to begin identifying asteroids that could be future mining targets.