Deep Space Industries announced plans to launch several unmanned ships that will capture small asteroids, flying a short distance from our planet in search of minerals, such as platinum.
The company joined a number of other startups that hope soon to use the untapped resources of near-Earth objects to help our civilization closer to the next stage of technological development.
"The use of low-cost technologies and heritage of our space program with new, innovative solutions that will help us to do what seemed impossible a few years ago," — said the president Rick Tumlinson.
DSI nadeetssya launch its first exploratory spacecraft, which they called Firefly (Firefly), in the next two years. The ship will stay in space for two to six months. 25-pound unmanned ships would be built using low-cost components and will CubeSat in orbit together with the satellites. Tumlinson said that the rapid development of computer technology has made possible the production and launch of dozens of tiny fireflies.
"Now we can do some amazing cars even smaller, cheaper and faster than ever before. Imagine a squadron of fireflies, ready to take off and explore any object that flies around the earth," — he said.
DSI is just the latest firm established to take over the development of extraterrestrial objects.
Director of "Avatar," James Cameron with Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt publicly endorsed company Planetary Resources, which also plans to begin exploration of asteroids. Potential profits are huge. Last spring, it was calculated that the asteroid in Germany 241, which is located in our solar system, contains minerals for more than $ 95.8 trillion. This is almost as much as the annual GDP of the entire world.
However, it is still unclear who owns the asteroids that rotate on near-Earth orbits. After all, according to the Global Outer Space Treaty, signed in 1967 — is a "public domain". However, DSI is immersed in a private space race with enthusiasm. More than 900 new asteroids passing near Earth are discovered every year. They can be a key resource for the further development of the industry, according to the DSI.
Eventually, the company hopes to find enough construction materials to build a large communications platforms to replace the communication satellites, and then solar power plants that will provide free energy consumers in the world. As well as other space-mining companies, DSI argues that mining on asteroids may even help with the manned mission to Mars.
The only potential problem for the DSI is funding. At the time, as planetary resources can boast the support of the wealthy, as Cameron Schmidt and Page, DSI hopes to receive investment from commercial sponsors.
Category: Astronomy and Space