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Dutch asteroid mining company to move headquarters to Colorado

The move of Karman+, which does research and missions to explore near-Earth asteroids, is expected to create 150 jobs over 7 years.
Credit: AP
This Oct. 26, 2018, image captured by Rover-1A, and provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, shows the surface of asteroid Ryugu. Japan's space agency JAXA said Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, more than 200 photos taken by two small rovers on the asteroid show no signs of a smooth area for the planned touchdown of a spacecraft early next year. (JAXA via AP)

DENVER — An asteroid mining startup from Netherlands will move its headquarters to the Denver metro area in the coming months, city and state officials announced Wednesday.

The mission of the company, Karman+, is to explore near-Earth asteroids for water and mineral resources for the space economy. The Colorado Economic Development Commission approved up to $1,287,128 in tax credits over eight years to help lure the company to Colorado.

Karman+'s move is expected to create 150 jobs over seven years with an average annual wage of $110,620, according to officials.

"The addition of companies like Karman+ continues to position Colorado as a leader in aerospace,” said Raymond H. Gonzales, president of the Metro Denver EDC and executive vice president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “The company has all the ingredients they need for growth and success here: outstanding access to talent, customers and a collaborative aerospace community that’s second to none.”

The company – which is hiring astronomers, astrophysicists, data engineers, data scientists and others – was drawn to Colorado for its talent and role in the aerospace industry, including other aerospace companies, academic institutions, military partners and economic development groups, Metro Denver EDC said in a news release.

Karman+ currently has eight employees who are expected to begin moving to Denver late this year, according to Gov. Jared Polis' office.

Daynan Cull, co-founder of Karman+ said that Colorado shares the company's spirit of adventure.

“The State of Colorado and the City of Denver have shown us their support for space exploration, which benefits not only us but an ecosystem of companies, research institutions, and organizations in the space domain with whom we hope to partner," said Daynan Cull, co-founder of Karman+. "We already knew Colorado is a great place to live; we are now convinced that it's the right place to grow our business and find our people."

The company's first focus will be on the process of mining for water. Tailings from mining could form the basis for building space-based solar power systems to deliver electrical power in space and on Earth, the governor's office said in a release.

Colorado competed with the United Kingdom and Luxembourg as possible headquarters locations. 

Polis said in a statement, "As Colorado's technology and aerospace industries continue to boom, we are thrilled to welcome innovative companies like Karman+ to Denver, one mile closer to space. This exciting move will bring 150 new good-paying jobs to Colorado as we continue to work to change the future of space exploration and sustainable energy."




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