Here’s an interesting question: Do you want to mine asteroids for James Cameron? Yeah, you read that right. Planetary Resources—a company founded by billionaire entrepreneurs Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson, and backed by Google co-founders Larry Page and Segry Brin, as well as the Avatar director—is looking for “asteroid miner” interns.
Here’s the position description from the job listing:
PRI’s vision is to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals through the rapid development of innovative and cost-effective exploration technologies. Resource extraction from asteroids will deliver multiple benefits to humanity and grow to be valued at tens of billions of dollars annually. The effort will tap into the high concentration of precious materials found on asteroids and will provide a foundation for further space exploration and a sustainable supply of raw materials to the ever-growing population on Earth. It may sound like science fiction, but its just science!
Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of a science fiction movie? A college kid, looking to make a few bucks, gain some career experience, and probably get away from a recent break-up, sees this ad and signs on to mine asteroids. Something goes horribly awry, and he winds up trapped in a parallel dimension, or maybe just lost in space, with only his wits to get him back to Earth and the girl of his dreams. I’d watch that.
But this is no joke. Everyone involved is quite serious. Planetary Resources has signed a launch deal with Virgin Galactic, and aims to “commence operations by the end of the decade.” The actual internship takes place in Bellevue, WA, a suburb of Seattle, and runs January 2013 through the following August. They’re looking for current students studying physics, computer science, and/or some sort of engineering. There is compensation mentioned, but nothing specific listed.
If you’re still haven’t clicked the link and applied for this position already, maybe this email from the company’s “president and chief asteroid miner” (seriously), Chris Lewicki, will convince you:
Do you want to be an Asteroid Miner?
Well, here’s your chance! We’re looking for passionate college students for paid coop positions to help us mine asteroids this spring and summer…
If you love space and want to contribute directly to the development of the next generation of space exploration technologies, we want to hear from you (or from anyone you know that you think would be interested).
What are you waiting for? It’ll be like living Armageddon.