Smallsat 2016: A Closer Look at DSI’s Prospector-1 Mission

Prospector-1 mission (Credit: DSI)
Prospector-1 mission (Credit: DSI)

Deep Space Industries’ Grant Bonin provided more details this week about the company’s Prospector-1 asteroid mission at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah.  Below is a summary based on the tweets of Jeff Foust ‏(@jeff_foust) and David Hurst ‏(@OrbitalDave).


Grant Bonin
Deep Space Industries

  • Prospector-1 will be the first commercial spacecraft sent to an asteroid
  • Prospector-1 is a 50-kg spacecraft whose main objective is to look for extractable water
  • Water will be key to the cis-lunar economy
  • Company examining 6 “very attractive” asteroids to explore
  • There’s a lot we still don’t know about asteroids – two asteroids that appear similar can be very different
  • Prospector-1 will attempt to soft land on asteroid at the end of its surveying mission to study regolith
  • Landing will also validate policy regime for commercial asteroid resources
  • Prospector-1 has midwave and visible infrared imaging for imaging asteroid and neutron spectrometer to study subsurface hydrogen
  • Spacecraft will launch as a secondary payload, use its own chemical rocket stage to leave Earth orbit for the asteroid
  • DSI will use super heated water for spacecraft propulsion