Planetary Resources To Change How We Explore The Cosmos

Planetary Resources is a group of world leaders that are building the ground floor opportunities for a space travel industry. Not long ago, in “One Good Reason Why Space Travel Will Happen In Your Lifetime,” we told of their idea to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials, basically making space travel profitable. Now, the forward-thinking team at Planetary Resources has tapped a diverse group of supporters to make access to space widely available for exploration and research.

Planetary Resources already includes Google’s CEO Larry Page, filmmaker James Cameron and others who are known for turning exploration into profit.

Recently added to the roster are Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, actor Seth Green, Star Trek’s Brent Spiner (Data) and Rob Picardo (The Doctor), Bill Nye the Science Guy, futurist Jason Silva and MIT astrophysicist Dr. Sara Seager.

Coming up on Wednesday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. PDT in Seattle at the Great Gallery at The Museum of Flight (also streaming live), Planetary Resources’ Peter Diamandis, Eric Anderson and Chris Lewicki, along with vlogger Hank Green, will announce an unprecedented project that proposes to change the way humans explore the cosmos.While exact details are being kept secret for now, the plan is to give students, teachers and the public access to “the most innovative space observation technology ever built,” said Planetary Resources in a Reddit post. Also to be covered at the live event, an offer for the public to directly participate in cutting-edge citizen science and discovery.

Doubtful? Check this video with Chief Asteroid Miner Chris Lewicki. Looks legit to me. What do you think?

American Airlines to cut jobs, work remaining force harder

Update: 3:33PM EST: American expects to lay off “400 pilots, 2,300 flight attendants, 1,400 management and support staff positions and 8,800 ground workers and mechanics.” source

American Airlines parent company AMR is expected to lay out the company’s plan for moving forward from bankruptcy today and the news is not good. American Airlines may cut between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs across the company, outsourcing aircraft maintenance in a bid to keep flying.

“The surprise is going to be big and it’s going to be bloody and it’s going to be nasty,” Vicki Bryan, a bond analyst at Gimme Credit LLC in New York, told Business Week adding 10,000 jobs “is not unreasonable.” The airline will have to cut as much as $2 billion to gain competitive labor costs, more than the $800 million AMR estimated, she said.

Reporting a $904 million loss in December, American employs about 74,000 full- and part-time workers plus 14,000 at regional carrier American Eagle.

In December, Gadling noted the bankruptcy made American “among the last of the legacy carriers to finally concede to ultra-competitive pricing and sky high oil prices. It’s a sad day for stockholders, but like many of the fallen giants they’ll pick themselves up, dust off and continue to operate — albeit a little bit leaner.”

In addition to job cuts, American probably will want employees to work more hours and pay more for healthcare, while compensation stays the same or increases slightly,William Swelbar, an aviation research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told Business Week.
“It’s clear we have to be a more nimble, flexible and efficient airline in order to compete successfully and be consistently profitable,” said Bruce Hicks, an AMR spokesman. “Before discussing publicly any of our proposed changes, we will first meet with the leaders of the unions.”

Union representatives have called a 4 p.m. news conference to discuss AMR’s plans.

[flickr image via ellenm1]