Blockchain venture production studio ConsenSys, Inc. has acquired the pioneering space company Planetary Resources, Inc. through an asset-purchase transaction. Planetary Resources’ President & CEO Chris Lewicki and General Counsel Brian Israel have joined ConsenSys in connection with the acquisition.
Previously, Chris Lewicki worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as Flight Director of the Spirit & Opportunity Mars rovers and Phoenix Mars lander before co-founding and leading Planetary Resources. “Over the course of nearly a decade, Planetary Resources has simultaneously pioneered technology, business, law and policy, and brought the promise of space resources irreversibly closer to humankind’s grasp,” said Lewicki. “I am proud of our team’s extraordinary accomplishments, grateful to our visionary supporters, and delighted to join ConsenSys in building atop our work to expand humanity’s economic sphere of influence into the Solar System.”
From 2009 until joining Planetary Resources in 2017, Brian Israel served in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where he was responsible for the international legal dimensions of outer space, oceans and international environmental governance matters, and served as U.S. Representative to the United Nations space law body. “Ethereum smart contract functionality is a natural solution for private-ordering and commerce in space—the only domain of human activity not ordered around territorial sovereignty—in which a diverse range of actors from a growing number of countries must coordinate and transact,” said Israel.
Ethereum Co-founder and ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin said, “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. We look forward to sharing our plans and how to join us on this journey in the months ahead.”
ConsenSys will operate its space initiatives out of Planetary Resources’ former facility in Redmond, WA.