A second company has made its bid to turn to space for profit by mining asteroids.
These 55-pound "FireFly" spacecraft, as they are called, will utilize low-cost CubeSat components and get discounted delivery to space by ride-sharing on the launch of larger communications satellites on journeys of two to six months.
Deep Space will be building a small fleet of the spacecraft using innovative miniature technologies and will work with NASA and other companies to identify targets of opportunity.
They plan to hitch a ride on an Atlas V, Delta 2 and Falcon Heavy rocket. There’s about 10,000 asteroids close to Earth to explore.
Planetary Resources hopes to get its first unmanned probes into space by the end of this year.
This new era of space for profit has been described as the inevitable transition of the act of discovery from exploration to exploitation. It’s kind of like the New World or the American West.
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