Asteroid mining start-up seeks interns

Planetary Resources has help from big names like Google CEO Larry Page and director James Cameron

By Prachi Gupta

Published October 2, 2012 8:36PM (EDT)

    (Paul Fleet)
(Paul Fleet)

The job posting for Planetary Resources' asteroid mining intern might sound like a hoax or a sketchy Craigslist ad. Look a little closer and you'll see that it's backed by big-time investors like Google CEO Larry Page and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. (Director James Cameron is an advisor, even though "Avatar" took a bold stand against plundering extraterrestrial wealth.)

Planetary Resources wants to expand humanity's natural resource base by looking for essential materials, like water and  metals, in non-Earth surfaces, then transport them back to Earth. The company hopes to achieve this through the creation of highly specialized robots, satellites and space telescopes, and believes the industry will "add trillions of dollars to the global GDP."

Until now, the company, which has been around since 2010, has kept things pretty hush-hush. But now it's ready to let a few college students inside. According to a recent job posting, the company needs interns "to assist in the development of new systems and technologies for the commercial robotic exploration of near Earth asteroids."  Cool, right?

Read the the job posting, via Venture Beat:

PRI’s vision is to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals through the rapid development of innovative and cost-effective exploration technologies. Resource extraction from asteroids will deliver multiple benefits to humanity and grow to be valued at tens of billions of dollars annually. The effort will tap into the high concentration of precious materials found on asteroids and will provide a foundation for further space exploration and a sustainable supply of raw materials to the ever-growing population on Earth. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s just science!

Planetary Resources, Inc (PRI), The Asteroid Mining Company, is seeking qualified and enthusiastic candidates for paid cooperative education positions to assist in the development of new systems and technologies for the commercial robotic exploration of near Earth asteroids in our Bellevue, WA location. Applicants should have an interest in space systems design and application and should expect a hands-on, intense and dynamic work environment.

PRI is currently reviewing candidates for a start of employment in January, 2013.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Asteroid Computer Science Google Internships James Cameron Robotics Technology