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Chris Lewicki, center, with Planetary Resources cofounders Peter Diamandis, left, and Eric Anderson. (Photo: Associated Press)

Chris Lewicki Is Aiming at Asteroids to Launch a New Era of Space Travel

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Chris Lewicki Is Aiming at Asteroids to Launch a New Era of Space Travel

Feb. 21, 2018
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For Planetary Resources CEO, water-seeking satellites are just the beginning.

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.