Aug 11, 2016

Miners on a mission for the final frontier

Miners on a mission for the final frontier

Is this the future of mining?

Deep Space Industries has announced its plans to build the Prospector-1 spacecraft to rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid and determine its value as a source of space resources.

“During the next decade, we will begin the harvest of space resources from asteroids,” Deep Space Industries chief executive officer Daniel Faber said.

“We are changing the paradigm of business operations in space, from one where our customers carry everything with them, to one in which the supplies they need are waiting for them when they get there.”

Recently, Deep Space Industries and its partner, the government of Luxembourg, announced plans to build and fly Prospector-X, an experimental mission to low-Earth orbit intended to test key technologies needed for low-cost exploration spacecraft.

This precursor mission is scheduled to launch in 2017 and Deep Space Industries aims to launch Prospector-1 before the end of the decade for the first space mining exploration mission.

Deep Space Industries co-founder Rick Tumlinson.

“Deep Space Industries has worked diligently to get to this point, and now we can say with confidence that we have the right technology, the right team and the right plan to execute this historic mission,” chairman of the board and co-founder of Deep Space Industries Rick Tumlinson said.

“Building on our Prospector-X mission, Prospector-1 will be the next step on our way to harvesting asteroid resources.”

Prospector-1 is described as a small spacecraft (50 kg when fuelled) that strikes a balance between cost and performance. In addition to radiation-tolerant payloads and avionics, DSI spacecraft would use a water propulsion system – using superheated water vapor to generate thrust.