Planetary Resources’s Star Wars roots

When Planetary Resources announced its plans in April to prospect near Earth asteroids and extract resources from them, it announced that it would develop a series of spacecraft under the name “Arkyd”. In fact, prior to its April announcement, the company operated in stealth mode under the name “Arkyd Astronautics”. So what kind of name is Arkyd? In a blog post Thursday, the company confirmed some earlier online speculation that the name was derived from a company in the Star Wars universe, albeit one known primarily by only the most dedicated fans of the series of movies:

About 3 years ago after we (Eric [Anderson] and Peter [Diamandis]) founded the company, we were looking for a code name for Planetary Resources (while we were keeping in super stealth mode). Chris Lewicki, our President and Chief Engineer (along with Joe Landon) brainstormed dozens of name and ultimately proposed the name Arkyd Astronautics, a derivative of the name Arakyd Industries from the Star Wars universe.

According to Chris, “Arakyd Industries was originally a supplier of exploration droids, its most noteworthy achievement being the Viper probe droid model, which the Empire used to locate the Echo Base on the planet Hoth in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. The Viper model was based on the success of Galalloy Industries early probe droids – the first true probe droids to search planets and asteroids for valuable resources, such as metals to fuel the processing plants of industry.”

As the company asks, “Is that geeky enough for you guys?”

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