It sounds like a thing of the far future, but asteroid mining is in fact real and has actually captured the attention of some 2,000 job seekers. Who knew? Not the company that was looking to hire a “few qualified people” that’s for sure. In fact, Planetary Resources, Inc. has actually stopped accepting resumes because they received too many.
Back on April 24, the company Planetary Resources, Inc. announced its plans to start mining asteroids for water and metals. They wanted to mine these near-Earth asteroids in hopes of providing “gas stations” for spacecrafts. The water from asteroids can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, obviously. These are the main components of rocket fuel and can be used to easily and cheaply fuel spacecrafts orbiting in space. For many, the idea of mining asteroids seems unrealistic and something you would see in an old movie resembling the twilight zone. Mining asteroids? It’s definitely real though, and the company behind it is backed by a group of millionaires and billionaires.
Of course, it would have to be seeing as though asteroid mining isn’t cheap. The company was founded by private spaceflight pioneers Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson and they have an impressive group of investors. At the top of the list are Google execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. Both of them are billionaires and are worth well over $5 billion. Others on the team as advisers include James Cameron, former NASA astronaut Tom Jones and MIT planetary scientist Sara Seager. It’s not surprising that this groovy, futuristic space project involves James Cameron. Remember Avatar? I do, and the fact that Cameron is on this team makes a ton of sense.
So let’s get back to the jobs. Last month, the company was only looking to hire a few qualified engineers. They weren’t just looking for any engineers, but wanted the best ones available for the job. In fact, co-founder and co-chairman Peter Diamandis was quoted saying, “One of the reasons that we chose to announce the company at this time is because we’re beginning to aggressively search for the world’s best engineers, to complement our team.” The jobs they are offering are for building asteroid-mining robots. It’s obvious why they would want the country’s top engineers to design them.
How many applications would you really expect for this kind of job? I, myself, would assume not too many, but in that I would be wrong. Only three weeks after putting out the call for these engineers, Planetary Resources received 2,000 resumes and applications. It seems everyone with the qualifications wants to jump at the chance to build an asteroid-mining robot. And why not? I’d imagine that would be one of the best and most interesting jobs ever. The company will have to weed through the resumes they have already received and unfortunately, for all those asteroid-mining hopefuls, have stopped accepting resumes.
The company’s current team is made up of about two dozen engineers and they hope to keep their team small in order to get started on this project fast and keep the costs low. Who knew asteroid-mining would be such a hot spot for job seekers?
What do you think about asteroid mining? Doesn’t it sound like some futuristic and unrealistic movie plot? I may be wrong. Tell me what you think in the comments or tweet me @nicole_spark.