Planetary Resources, the space mining company backed by Google’s Larry Page and Braintree founder Bryan Johnson, has taken another step in its quest to actually mine resources from asteroids and other planetary bodies.
The company successfully launched its Akryd-6 cubesat, which is holding an experimental technology designed to detect water resources in space.
Planetary Resources is already receiving telemetry from the spacecraft, and the company believes that the experimental technology is a critical stepping-stone for it to develop its next spacecraft platform the Arkyd-301.
That technology is what Planetary Resources will use to launch its space resource exploration in earnest the company said.
The company’s plans for space mining have been met with skepticism (and some amount of ridicule), with many terrestrial analysts claiming that the company’s costs far outweigh any benefits that could arise from mining asteroids.
Indeed, in the company’s earliest days it made money by launching satellites that were used to monitor and collect data on earthly rather than planetary resources.