Deep Space Industries to Land on Asteroid by 2020



Sun, Aug 14th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to engadget, Deep Space Industries is planning to land a small spacecraft on an eligible asteroid by 2020. While the craft will not be bringing any valuable minerals back to earth, the scope of the mission will be to "map the surface of the asteroid and analyze the rock for resources" that could be used for future long-term missions. Historically, this would also be the first private mission to an asteroid.

According to a statement from DSI, Prospector–1 will be a small craft just 110 pounds (50 kg) and will inherit radiation-tolerant payloads and avionics from its little sibling Prospector-X after its launch in 2017. Although DSI plans to one day scrape asteroids for metals and other resources, its first asteroid mining product will simply be water. Both Prospector crafts use the company's proprietary water propulsion system, which uses superheated water vapor for thrust, rather than rocket fuel. So, the ability to mine asteroids for water means DSI will eventually be able to restock crucial resources like fuel and drinking water without the need for a return trip to Earth



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