Press Release

Dante Lauretta Joins Planetary Resources’ Team

By SpaceRef Editor
September 10, 2014
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Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today that Dante Lauretta, Ph.D., professor of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona and principal investigator of OSIRIS-REx – NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission – scheduled to launch in 2016 and rendezvous with asteroid Bennu, has joined the company as a science advisor.

“I am excited that Dr. Lauretta is a member of our advisor team. As the lead for the OSIRIS-REx mission and a distinguished scientist, Dr. Lauretta is one of today’s leading experts in the field of planetary science,” said Chris Lewicki, president of Planetary Resources. “His insight from studying the carbonaceous asteroid Bennu will be extremely useful as we develop technologies on collecting data for our own asteroid rendezvous missions.”

“I am pleased to announce my official affiliation with Planetary Resources. Exploration of the Solar System depends on the utilization of resources found on asteroids and I am excited to lend my expertise and passion to their worthy mission,” said Dante Lauretta, Ph.D. principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx mission and professor of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Lauretta is also announcing today the launch of Xtronaut Enterprises, which will initially focus on providing STEM-related educational and public outreach materials on the OSIRIS-REx mission. “Our goal is to generate added interest and relevance for the science behind space exploration as we firmly believe that one of the greatest benefits of a mission like OSIRIS-REx is the ability to inspire people to further learn and engage in science, math, and engineering. We want to share the experience and make it the public’s mission,” stated Dr. Lauretta, co-founder and Chief Science Advisor of Xtronaut Enterprises. For more information, please visit

About Planetary Resources

Planetary Resources, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. Our vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the Solar System within humanity’s economic sphere of influence. The company will conduct low-cost robotic space exploration beginning with the ARKYD Series of space missions that will identify the most commercially viable near-Earth asteroids. These initial missions will assist the company in enabling the retrieval of raw materials from these select asteroids, including water, precious metals and more.

Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, three of whom include Google’s CEO Larry Page & Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt; and Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group; who are committed to expanding the world’s resource base so humanity can continue to grow and prosper for centuries to come. Some of the company’s partners and advisors include the Bechtel Corporation; film maker and explorer James Cameron; former Chief of Staff, United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley (Ret.); and Sara Seager, Ph.D., Professor of Planetary Science and Physics at MIT. Members of the company’s technical staff have worked on every recent U.S. Mars lander including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity, and include other key non-aerospace and safety-critical disciplines. For more information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.