Planetary Resources Aims To Launch Its First Satellites In 2014

Planetary Resources, formerly known as Arkyd Astronautics, is a billionaire-backed asteroid-mining company. Planetary Resources wants to mine asteroids for their sweet, sweet minerals and make a business out of it. Recently, we have come to know that the company plans to launch its first satellites in 2014.

Space Asteroid Mining

Planetary Resources plans to send a set of tiny “cubesats” (cubesat are also called Arkyd-3 satellite) to Earth orbit in early 2014 in order to test its first line of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft. The measurement of cubesats will be 12 inches x 4 inches x 4 inches (30 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm).

The “Arkyd-3” satellites will test out technologies for Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-100 scouts, which the firm hopes to launch to low-Earth orbit on asteroid-hunting missions in 2015. A series of other robotic probes beyond the 33-pound (15 kilograms) Arkyd-100 will investigate near-Earth asteroids.

Concept Of Futuristic Robototic Probes Of Planetary Resources

Chris Voorhees, Planetary Resources’ vice president of spacecraft development, said Wednesday, April 24 during a Google+ Hangout event, “Our belief and our philosophy is that the best testbed is space itself. Despite the fact that we’re a deep-space company, we’re going to use Earth orbit as much as possible. For us, it’s a valuable learning experience, and that’s what we plan on doing one year hence.”

After going to space, the cubesats will mine near-Earth asteroids for resources such as precious metals and water. Sourcing water in space will make space travel much cheaper and more efficient. Currently it costs about $10,000 to launch 1 liter (0.26 gallons) of water to low-Earth orbit. By selling the precious metals or water collected from space, Planetary Resources intends to generate a healthy profit for itself.


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Anatol Rahman is the Editor at TheTechJournal. He loves complicated machineries, and crazy about robot and space. He likes cycling. Before joining TheTechJournal team, he worked in the telemarketing industry. You can catch him on Google+.

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