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."
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