Planetary Resources reveals plan for prospecting asteroids, creating interstellar gas stations

| May 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

The cat got allow out of the bag a in some degree early, but Planetary Resources has since officially announced its existence and deputation. We already told you that the venture plans to destroy asteroids for profit, and is backed by a bunch of bigwigs from Silicon Valley and Hollywood. But after this we know a bit more almost the company after watching its manifesto webcast and speaking with co-fall Peter Diamandis. Turns out, the firm sees itself not only as a business venture, but as an entity that be pleased pave the way for extending human authority throughout the solar system. Read attached after the break for more.

Sure, Planetary Resources is hoping to provide huge chunks of platinum and other of great value metals and minerals in space, but its first priority is finding asteroids abounding in water. You see, water is maybe the most valuable resource in the cosmos not only because it’s needed to uphold life, but also because it be able to be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen — that just happen to be the excellent rocket propellant. So, the plan is to attain to these H20-rich rocks in our solar body and use them as gas stations to firing further exploration and enable the burrowing operations that follow.

To find its stone-bed, Planetary Resources won’t simply exist pointing a rocket at the nearest asteroid and hoping for the best, in lieu, its plan is to build a course of spacecraft to identify and foresight near-earth asteroids. These spacecraft, dubbed the Arkyd line, will be cheap (1/100 the require to be paid of existing craft), small and lightweight (about 20kg), and will be deployed in swarms of up to 20 at a time. It’s a new way of space exploration that relies forward redundancy to ameliorate the risk of failure, instead of pouring considerable resources into any (hopefully) fail-proof vehicle. Plus, the group anticipates that its inevitable mistakes command help it iterate rapidly and improve the spacecraft technology from embassy to mission. Part of the intellect Planetary Resources thinks it’ll be able to adapt so quickly is that it’s leveraging and developing cutting edge technology with a small engineering pole of a couple dozen folks.

First up is the Arkyd 100 Series, a moo earth orbit telescope — capable of inasmuch as up to 90 million miles at a distance in ideal lighting conditions — to obtain asteroids worth prospecting. It’s furthermore going to be made available for example a private space telescope, initially costing encircling $3-5 million with the value dropping accordingly should customers proliferate enough to vanquish production costs. Once appropriate asteroids are identified, therefore the Arkyd 200, a powered translation of the 100 with additional instrumentation, behest be deployed to intercept the asteroids and collect more detailed data on their volume. Once the highest quality targets are build, then the 300 series, with its advanced laser-based communications, behest set to work surveying the “asteroid’s shape, rotation, density, and surface and sub-surface composition” in case for mining to begin. Thus far, Planetary Resources has neither revealed in what manner it will actually excavate these asteroids nor in what plight it’ll bring the potentially billions of dollars merit of cargo back to earth, goal it’s just getting started and the visitor claims that it’ll be in posse by leveraging unnamed future technologies.

The current scheme is for the first 100 Series lance to happen in 18-24 months, and as being the first asteroid targets to have existence surveyed by the end of the decade. When asked to what degree the company was going to generate its Arkyds into space, the assemblage wouldn’t say what launch medium will be used. Peter Diamandis told us that he is, naturally, very fond of SpaceX’s Falcon 9, unless it’s not the only option under consideration — the Arkyd craft are stolid enough to hitch a ride forward other satellite launches as a minor passenger, so dedicated launch vehicles may not exist necessary. Despite these (relatively) inexpensive spacecraft and dilate options, there are questions as to to what extent the company will make money in the brief term. Not to worry, said co-fall Eric Anderson, as the company has completed its funding and already counts NASA as a customer of the Arkyd 300′s optical communications technology.

Will Planetary Resources succeed in first up an interstellar highway and unlocking untold riches in our solar system? No single can say for sure, but we know we’ll be watching its progress by great interest, hoping for future gadgets made from flummery found in space.

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ASTEROID MINING PLANS REVEALED BY PLANETARY RESOURCES, INC.
Expanding the instrumentality base of humanity to include the solar body

Seattle, Wash. – April 24, 2012 – Planetary Resources, Inc. announced today its map to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) since raw materials, ranging from water to beloved metals. Through the development of require to be paid-effective exploration technologies, the company is poised to inaugurate prospecting missions targeting resource-rich asteroids that are easily accessible.

Resource descent from asteroids will deliver multiple benefits to charity and grow to be valued at tens of billions of dollars annually. The effort will tap into the abstruse concentration of precious metals found steady asteroids and provide a sustainable accommodate with to the ever-growing population attached Earth.

A single 500-meter platinum-plentiful asteroid contains the equivalent of aggregate the Platinum Group Metals mined in narration. “Many of the scarce metals and minerals attached Earth are in near-infinite quantities in space. As access to these materials increases, not only will the cost of everything from microelectronics to strength storage be reduced, but new applications in spite of these abundant elements will result in momentous and novel applications,” said Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.

Additionally, water-rich NEAs will serve as “stepping stones” on this account that deep space exploration, providing space-sourced firing and water to orbiting depots. Accessing moisten resources in space will revolutionize research and make space travel dramatically besides economical.

“Water is perhaps the in the greatest degree valuable resource in space. Accessing a water-rich asteroid will greatly enable the copious-scale exploration of the solar regularity. In addition to supporting life, irrigate will also be separated into oxygen and phlogiston for breathable air and rocket propellant,” before-mentioned Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.

Of the not fa from 9,000 known NEAs, there are else than 1,500 that are energetically in the same proportion that easy to reach as the Moon. The ability to characterize NEAs is on the determining path for Planetary Resources. To that extreme point, the company has developed the earliest line in its family of great-space prospecting spacecraft, the Arkyd-100 Series. The spacecraft command be used in low-Earth circular path and ultimately help prioritize the before anything else several NEA targets for the group’s follow-on Arkyd-300 Series NEA breed multitudes expeditions.

Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer, reported “Our mission is not only to be distended the world’s resource base, end we want to increase people’s liberty to approach to, and understanding of, our planet and solar scheme by developing capable and cost-effective systems.”

“The promise of Planetary Resources is to lay upon commercial innovation to space exploration. They are developing require to be paid-effective, production-line spacecraft that be inclined visit near-Earth asteroids in quick succession, increasing our scientific knowledge of these bodies and enabling the household development of the resources they embody,” said Tom Jones, Ph.D., experienced NASA astronaut, planetary scientist and Planetary Resources, Inc. advisor.

Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, including Google CEO Larry Page and Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group, who are committed to expanding the creation’s resource base so that good nature can continue to grow and go on well:

· Eric E. Schmidt, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Planetary Resources, Inc. investor: “The following out of resources drove the discovery of America and opened the West. The identical drivers still hold true for fissure the space frontier. Expanding the device base for humanity is important with regard to our future.”

· K. Ram Shriram, Founder of Sherpalo, Google Board of Directors founding branch and Planetary Resources, Inc. investor: “I take heed the same potential in Planetary Resources for example I did in the early days of Google.”

· Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., Chairman of Intentional Software Corporation and Planetary Resources, Inc. investor: “The commercialization of extension began with communications satellites and is developing in spite of human spaceflight. The next logical step is to institute the innovative development of resources from room. I’m proud to be character of this effort.”

The company’s advisors include film maker and explorer James Cameron; General T. Michael Moseley (Ret.); Sara Seager, Ph.D.; Mark Sykes, Ph.D.; and David Vaskevitch.

Founded in 2009 through . Eric Anderson and Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Planetary Resources, Inc. is establishing a repaired paradigm for resource utilization that resoluteness bring the solar system within the human race’s economic sphere of influence through . enabling low-cost robotic exploration and final commercial development of asteroids. For in addition information, please visit www.PlanetaryResources.com.
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