Blockchain venture production studio ConsenSys announced on Wednesday, its most recent acquisition. The studio has acquired asteroid mining company Planetary Resources in an asset-purchase transaction for an undisclosed amount. President & CEO of the space company Chris Lewicki and General Counsel Brian Israel will both be a part of ConsenSys now.
ConsenSys’s Planetary Ambitions Take Flight
With this acquisition, ConsenSys has now solidified its ambition to venture into space. ConsenSys founder and Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin applauded Planetary Resources, saying:
“I admire Planetary Resources for its world class talent, its record of innovation, and for inspiring people across our planet in support of its bold vision for the future.”
“Bringing deep space capabilities into the ConsenSys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution. And it reflects our belief in democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to unite our species and unlock untapped human potential.”
ConsenSys will now operate its space initiatives from Planetary Resources Redmond facility. The company will also be benefitted by the immense experience of Chris Lewicki, who worked in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as Flight Director of the Spirit & Opportunity Mars rovers and Phoenix Mars Lander. Lewicki thanked his team and said that ConsenSys could expand humanity’s economic influence into the Solar System.
What Is ConsenSys’s Plan for Space?
The ‘Blockchain venture production studio’ ConsenSys did not specify its plans for using the resources of the newly acquired company. However, their work could be in line with what Planetary Resources has already set out to accomplish. When it began, the company was backed by some of the wealthy and well-known figures in the tech industry, including Google co-founders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Charles Simonyi and Ross Perot Jr. Richard Branson was also an investor in the company along with the Luxembourg government.
The company had ambitious plans back in 2012 when it planned to mine asteroids near earth for water ice which could be sold as a propellant. The company also went on to develop numerous cubesats, the first of which Arkyd-3 was lost in October 2014. In July 2015, the Arkyd-3R was deployed on the International Space Station, followed by the Arkyd-6 which was launched in January on an Indian PSLV. However, the company soon landed in financial problems and failed to close a funding round.
The company reportedly laid off a substantial number of its staff and was even planning to auction off some equipment in August. The sale has since been called off.