DSI to launch First Commercial Interplanetary Mining Mission on Asteroid by 2020

DSI to launch First Commercial Interplanetary Mining Mission on Asteroid by 2020

The asteroid mining industry, Deep Space Industries recently announced its future mining plans on an asteroid. The company said that it has scheduled to land spacecraft Prospector-1 on a near-Earth asteroid by 2020. The project would involve determining presence of deposits on the asteroid that could benefit in economic terms.

As per the proposed interplanetary mining projects, Deep Space Industries would plan to mine asteroids for water, carbon and other elements, precious metals, and objects that could be used as space building materials. The first thing the Prospector-1 would look for is water on the asteroid. The idea behind searching for water is not to harness it for drinking, but for fulfilling other needs, such as using it to propel craft.

The company is planning to use ice found on the asteroid to make fuel to power spacecraft. The company would use its water-based propulsion system to propel as super-heated water vapor release. DSI would start the mission coordinating with the government of Luxembourg. The Prospector-X will be launched into low orbit next year. It would test main technologies used by Prospector-1.

“Prospector-1 is not only the first commercial interplanetary mission; it is also an important milestone in our quest to open the frontier. By learning to ‘live off the land’ in space, Deep Space Industries is ushering in a new era of unlimited economic expansion,” said Rick Tumlinson, co-founder of Deep Space Industries, in a statement.

After arrival of Prospector-1 at a near-Earth asteroid, it would measure the surface of the asteroid and water on it to the depth of a meter. It would also analyze asteroid’s geography. The mission is an attempt to find useful resources from a celestial body other than our planet. Only time would tell how successful and fruitful these attempts would be.

According to a report in CS Monitor by Nicole Orttung, "Deep Space Industries announced recently that they anticipate landing spacecraft Prospector-1 on a near-Earth asteroid by 2020 to identify any economic deposits. The company eventually plans to mine asteroids for water, carbon and other elements, precious metals, and even in-space building materials."

“Prospector-1 is not only the first commercial interplanetary mission, it is also an important milestone in our quest to open the frontier. By learning to ‘live off the land’ in space, Deep Space Industries is ushering in a new era of unlimited economic expansion,” said Rick Tumlinson, co-founder of Deep Space Industries, in a statement.

"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," said Daniel Faber, the chief executive officer at DSI.

A report published in Mining Weekly informed, "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."

According to DSI, Prospector-1 is a small spacecraft, weighing in at 50 kg when fuelled, that strikes the ideal balance between cost and performance. Further to radiation-tolerant payloads and avionics, all DSI spacecraft use the Comet water propulsion system, which expels superheated water vapour to generate thrust.

“During the next decade, we will begin the harvest of space resources from asteroids. 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,” explained DSI CEO Daniel Faber.


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