Lewicki is CEO of the space start-up Planetary Resources. Its provocative tagline is “The asteroid mining company.” Planetary Resources wants to mine water contained in near-Earth asteroids and use it to produce liquid hydrogen rocket fuel. It hopes to turn asteroids into something like gas stations in space, making them launch pads for long-distance travel.
It’s not surprising that investors would look to Lewicki to run a start-up with such outsize ambitions. After receiving a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Arizona, Lewicki spent a decade as a senior flight systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
In space it’s not so much about distance, it’s about velocity. It’s a completely different way of thinking about getting from point A to point B. You get up to speed, cut off the engine, and coast forever.