Redmond, Wash. – September 9, 2014 – 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