2,000 People Apply To Build Asteroid Mining Robots
Even in a tough economy when a firm advertises that it needs engineers to design the next generation robot to mine asteroids in near Earth orbit the response can be a bit overwhelming. Planetary Resources, a firm backed by some of the country’s notable billionaires, has already received thousands of job applications just three weeks after publicly announcing their asteroid mining plans.
On April 24, the company announced that it was going to be hiring a few people to begin work on design for their robots. They are not at the point where they need astronauts who are going to travel to an asteroid and set up shop, they need qualified engineers to develop the non biological probes to go up and take care of business. The amount of resume’s they received was so big they had to stop taking new ones.
The company’s website says,
“We have received over 2,000 applications since our April 24th press event, and we are not currently accepting applications for full-time employees, summer internships or student co-ops. In the near future, we will be seeking applications from students for Fall 2012 co-ops.”
Planetary Resources was founded by private spaceflight pioneers Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson. Its investors include Google execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, who are worth $16.7 billion and $6.2 billion, respectively. Filmmaker and adventurer James Cameron, former NASA astronaut Tom Jones and MIT planetary scientist Sara Seager are advisers.
The goal of the company is to mine near Earth asteroids in the hope they will be able to find enough Platinum and similar metals to make the project commercially viable. They also need to make Water to build the fuel necessary to get back.
Planetary Resources envisions hundreds of low cost robots traveling to space to extract resources from the asteroids. Company officials have said that they hope to begin identifying targets for exploitation in the next few years.
Planetary Resources currently employs about two dozen engineers. Diamandis said the company hopes to stay relatively small, so it can move quickly and do what it can to keep costs down.