Alan Boyle, for GeekWire:
“Planetary Resources missed a fundraising milestone,” Tearne explained in an email. “The company remains committed to utilizing the resources from space to further explore space, but is focusing on near-term revenue streams by maximizing the opportunity of having a spacecraft in orbit.”
Tearne said no further information was available, and did not address questions about employment cutbacks. However, reports from other sources in the space community suggest there have been notable job reductions. For what it’s worth, Planetary Resources had more than 70 employees at last report.
First and foremost, layoffs are always a major bummer. As far as Planetary Resources goes, I did start to get worried about their future after their pivot to Earth observation in 2016 and then their pivot back to asteroid mining just a few months later. It was—and remains—a confused strategy that was pretty blatantly about chasing the money wherever the money could be found.