Space Wealth (previously, Abundant Planet) is overseen by its Board of Directors with the guiding support of a Board of Advisors.


Board of Directors

The Directors meet twice a year to review and establish strategic goals for the organization.

William BC Crandall, MBA

BC Crandall

BC Crandall founded Space Wealth (originally, Abundant Planet) in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he entered the MBA program at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, to study the economics of extraterrestrial resource development. He graduated from the program in 2008.

Previously, Mr. Crandall worked in the software industry as a writer, editor, and programmer, on both coasts of the United States, and in Germany. In 1990, he co-founded Prime Arithmetics, Inc., with Dr. Jack Le Tourneau, a mathematician from the University of California, Berkeley. The company secured four patents for its technology, which executes certain tree-oriented operations (e.g., in XML) four orders of magnitude faster than standard algorithms. This intellectual property is currently licensed to Skyler Technology.

Mr. Crandall edited two of the first books on nanotechnology, published by The MIT Press. The first, Nanotechnology: Research and Perspectives (1992), was described by Xerox Principal Scientist David Biegelsen as, “A very readable and thought-provoking overview of a seminal vision and its nurturing environment.” The second, Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance (1996), includes an account of Josh Hall’s utility fog. In a review of the second book, E.O. Wilson wrote, “In clear and compelling language, Nanotechnology describes the ideas and techniques that are creating a new domain of science and technology.” That book remained in Amazon’s “Top Ten” best sellers for nanotechnology through 2005.

Larry Gorman, Ph.D.

Larry Gorman

Dr. Larry Gorman is a Professor of Finance at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, and a visiting professor at Wharton (U. Penn), Sasin (Bangkok), and the International School of Management (Paris). He has been recognized as the most outstanding faculty member in the finance department at Cal Poly every year, since 2003. He is a pioneering researcher behind Russell Investments’ new risk measure, CrossVol™. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University, an MBA in Finance from Western Washington University, and a Ph.D in Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Dr. Gorman’s research interests include asset pricing, hedge funds, and international finance.

Peter Howard, Ph.D.

Peter Howard

Dr. Peter Howard was a senior scientist at Exelixis, Inc., in South San Francisco, until his retirement in 2011. He received his B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of California, San Diego. Following a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute, funded by the American Cancer Society, he began his career in the biotech industry. In 2000, he became a research scientist at Exelixis.


Board of Advisors

Advisors recommend strategic goals and priorities for the organization.

Frans von der Dunk, Ph.D.

Frans von der Dunk

Dr. Frans von der Dunk is a Professor of Space Law in the College of Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to his appointment at UNL, Dr. von der Dunk was the first co-director, and then director, of space law research at the International Institute of Air and Space Law, at Leiden University, The Netherlands. Dr. von der Dunk has written more than 130 articles on space law, many of which are available online. He is the General Editor of Brill’s Studies in Space Law, and is a member of the Space Policy editorial board. He is also a member of the International Law Association, and the boards of the European Centre for Space Law and the International Institute of Space Law. He is the founder of Black Holes, which offers space law consulting services.

Martin Elvis, Ph.D.

Martin Elvis

Dr. Martin Elvis is a Senior Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has been affiliated with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, since the 1980s. The Chandra Observatory is used to image supernova remnants and other large objects. During his doctoral studies, at the University of Leicester (UK), he discovered the brightest X-ray source ever seen in the sky, apart from the sun, A0620-00, and his “Atlas of Quasar Energy Distributions,” has served as a standard since its publication in 1994. Dr. Elvis is also the author of “A Structure for Quasars,” a particularly long-lived model, which unites into a simple picture much of the 10,000 papers on the emission and absorption features of quasar spectra. Dr. Elvis has published over 200 papers in refereed journals, and is one of the 350 most highly cited researchers in space sciences, as determined by Thomson Reuters.

Dante Lauretta, Ph.D.

Dante Lauretta

Dr. Dante Lauretta is a Professor of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, and the Principal Investigator for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx NEA sample-return mission. Dr. Lauretta is the co-editor of Meteorites and the Early Solar System II (2006) and Protoplanetary Dust: Astrophysical and Cosmochemical Perspectives (2010), the author or co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed papers, and the 2002 recipient of the Meteoritical Society’s Nier Prize for “outstanding research in meteoritics.” Dr. Lauretta received a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, and a B.A. in Oriental Studies, both Cum Laude, from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, from Washington University.

Jordi Puig-Suari, Ph.D.

Jordi Puig-Suari

Dr. Jordi Puig-Suari is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. He received a B.S. and an M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, all from Purdue University. After teaching for a year at Purdue, and for four years at Arizona State University, he joining the Cal Poly Aerospace Engineering Department. He served as Chair of the Department from 2004 to 2008. Dr. Puig-Suari was an initiator of the CubeSat program, which continues to engage active technical and research communities.

Mark Sonter, MAppSc

Mark Sonter

Mark Sonter is the Director of Mining and Processing at Deep Space Industries, as well as an independent consultant in the Australian mining and metallurgical industries. He studied asteroid mining at the University of Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, in 1995. He presented a synopsis of his thesis, “Technical and economic feasibility of mining the near-Earth asteroids,” at the 49th International Astronautical Federation Congress, in 1998. In 2001, Sonter published “Near earth objects as resources for space industrialization,” which describes techniques for “comparing the financial and technical feasibility of competing space mining project proposals.” Mr. Sonter’s research has been funded by the Foundation for International Non-governmental Development of Space. He received his BSc in Physics and Geology from the University of New South Wales, in 1968, and his MAppSc in Medical Physics from the Queensland University of Technology, in 1978.