VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Deep Space Industries (DSI) has entered the race to launch spacecraft that will identify and mine near-earth asteroids, in the hope of establishing a new space economy.
The California-based company on Tuesday announced plans to fly the world’s first commercial interplanetary mining mission. Its Prospector-1 would coincide with an asteroid near earth and investigate it to determine its value as a source of space resources.
DSI explained that it planned to undertake two Prospector missions, the first being Prospector X, an experimental mission to low-earth orbit that would test key technologies needed for low-cost space exploration.
It was scheduled to launch in 2017. Prospector-1 would follow before the end of this decade and travel beyond the earth’s orbit to start the first space mining exploration mission, advised the company, which had partnered with the Luxembourg government.
“DSI’s Prospector missions will usher in a new era of low-cost space exploration. DSI is developing Prospector-1 both for its own asteroid mining ambitions, as well as to bring an extremely low-cost, yet high-performance exploration capability to the market. We hope to enable both existing and new public and private organisations to explore the inner solar system using this affordable platform,” stated chief engineer Grant Bonin.
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