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Robotic space mining fleet announced


Posted on Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 | Comment icon 18 comments | News tip by: ozman


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 
Deep Space Industries has announced plans to launch a fleet of asteroid prospecting spacecraft.

The first venture of its kind, the "FireFly" spacecraft are equipped with low-cost cubesat components and will save money by piggy-backing in to space on the back of communications satellite launches. Weighing in at 25kg, the first spacecraft is set to launch in 2015 on a voyage of up to six months. Later, larger versions will launch on longer missions that will seek to return samples from potentially valuable asteroid targets.

"This is the first commercial campaign to explore the small asteroids that pass by Earth," said Chairman Rick Tumlinson. "Using low cost technologies, and combining the legacy of our space program with the innovation of today's young high tech geniuses, we will do things that would have been impossible just a few years ago."

"Deep Space Industries announced today that it will send a fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft out into the solar system to hunt for resources to accelerate space development to benefit Earth."

  View: Full article |  Source: Spaceref.com

  Discuss: View comments (18)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by ancient astronaut on 24 January, 2013, 0:40
get all the space gold you can carry
Comment icon #10 Posted by TheMolePatrol on 24 January, 2013, 2:56
This is badass its not like its a scenario of blowing a bunch of money to achieve mainly scientific research. They are companies, blow large amounts of money, which means they acknowledge they can make large amounts of money. This is a model based on being self sufficient, not tax-payer dependent. I'm sure we all know this. But the possibilities that profit brings science can be just as beneficial.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Timonthy on 24 January, 2013, 3:18
They're not aiming for 'amazing properties', it will just be a case of whether they can return enough of whatever material to make it profitable. I just don't think we're there yet. Having said that, I have no idea the value of what they'll be bringing back or the volumes required to sufficiently outweigh the costs.
Comment icon #12 Posted by AsteroidX on 24 January, 2013, 4:17
Funny there talking about using 3D printers for manufacturing. Shows a leap in manufacturing tech if it can be pulled off.
Comment icon #13 Posted by MaddoxHQ on 24 January, 2013, 4:38
I suppose if it was worth it I'd be behind it, but as far as I can tell there isn't much in asteroids that could be that worth it. Most of them are primarily nickel and iron, and in rarer cases chromium. Nothing too spectacular really. Its not like we're finding solid gold or platinum nuggets floating around or anything.
Comment icon #14 Posted by onereaderone on 24 January, 2013, 11:52
i need to brake this into at least 5 topics 1) astroid proccessing 2) aquire and transport 3) sales and manufacturing 4) personel and emplyment 5) other subjects 1) parabolic reflectors aimed at the sun would not have to be very large to melt pretty much any rock found in space... give me a parabloic reflector 500 meters in diameter with a gyro metric guidance system and the big problem is collecting the liquid metal in a centrafuge and spinning out the iron and silicone ... frankly , taking it to the moon after primary refinement sems more likly... zero gravity makes things hard to controll .... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by onereaderone on 24 January, 2013, 12:11
5) oooops , forgot to add ... 99.999% of all matter is hydrogen... oxygen is so reactive that nearly every astoid has some oxygen in marginal to un-useable forms ... nickel and iron are very common in heavy astroid ... soft astroids will be 80% silicone , carbon and trace metals ... comets are something else completely ... comet chasing may well be the big game hunters target of choice... untill you have large scale parabolic furnases in place and a good understanding of the problems and practices of near zero gravity shop processing .... aquiring material for the technoids is for the cowboys ... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by justcalmebubba on 25 January, 2013, 5:56
undiscovered country
Comment icon #17 Posted by ~ MacDDT ~ on 27 January, 2013, 11:37
Hopefully they won't bring back space mumps to earth,smeg!!!


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