Tag: asteroid mining

NASA Selects Planetary Resources for 2 SBIR Phase II Contracts

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NASA has selected asteroid mining company Planetary Resources for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II awards for the development of advanced CubeSat technologies.

One SBIR project involved the development of a hybrid green monopropellant/cold-gas propulsion system called the Integrated Propulsion and Primary Structure Module (IPPSM). The module would provide “a standard interface, serving as the strongback for simple integration of other Cubesat subsystems and payloads within the 6U and 12U size regimes.”

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Planetary Resources, Planet Labs Launching Satellites Aboard Dragon

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The asteroid mining company Planetary Resources is launching its first test satellite aboard a SpaceX Dragon resupply ship today. The Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) satellite will test out technologies for the company’s future spacecraft. It will be launched from the International Space Station at a later date.

The first Arkyd test satellite was lost when Orbital Sciences’ Antares launch vehicle exploded shortly after liftoff in October. The spacecraft was aboard a Cygnus resupply ship headed for the space station.

Planet Labs is sending up 14 more of its Dove remote sensing spacecraft aboard the mission. They are being launched as secondary payloads.

Planetary Resources Parties at Davos

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A confidential source in Davos reports that Planetary Resources threw one helluva party the other night during the World Economic Forum. The source says it was the same event that Business Insider reports ended early in the morning after the booze and the patience of a neighbor and Swiss police ran out. The website doesn’t identify the company, but my source says it was definitely the space miners from Seattle.

Held in a private apartment up in the mountains, overlooking the town of Davos in the valley below, it raged until two in the morning — and only shut down because a squad of Swiss police insisted.

To fuel the festivity — and one more, planned for tonight — the party-throwers company had flown in bartenders from England.

At around 1:30 a.m., a neighbor — who happened to be the CEO of multinational insurance company — complained to the party’s hosts.

This complaint was ignored.

But then, at 2:00 a.m., one of the bartenders approached the host and said: Not only have we run out of the liquor we planned to serve tonight, we’ve also run out of all the booze we had set aside for tomorrow.

Fortune also has an entertaining account of an encounter with Planetary Resources President Chris Lewicki, apparently at the same party. You’ll see the discussion at the bar went fine until the reporter started asking some probing questions.
After I asked a few more questions about his company—like “is there really a lot of demand right now for gas stations and bottle water in outer space?”—Lewiski told me to stop being a critic. Every industry, he said, has to start somewhere. Yes. Dream big. This is Davos, after all.
Yeah, you get a lot of that in NewSpace.

DSI Forms Strategic Partnership With Solid Prototype, Inc.

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 Deep Space Industries is planning a series of reconnaissance spacecraft which will be sent in search of mineral-rich asteroids.  (Credit:  Bryan Versteeg, Deep Space Industries)

Deep Space Industries is planning a series of reconnaissance spacecraft which will be sent in search of mineral-rich asteroids. (Credit: Bryan Versteeg, Deep Space Industries)

Houston, TXDecember 1, 2014.  Deep Space Industries and Solid Prototype Inc. today announced a strategic partnership to revolutionize spacecraft design and production through Solid Prototype’s 3D printing services, targeted at reducing fabrication costs, speeding turnaround times for new designs, and eliminating mass from spacecraft structures.

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Planetary Resources to Launch First Spacecraft on Monday

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Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Asteroid mining company Planetary Resources will launch its first satellite aboard the Cygnus spacecraft on Monday. Here is the company’s previous press release announcing the launch.

The A3 is the Arkyd 100’s technology demonstrator, and the mission will provide for early testing and serve to validate the spacecraft’s core technology and software in the development of the program.

Planetary Resources is under contract with NanoRacks, through its Space Act Agreement with NASA, to release the A3 from the International Space Station’s Kibo airlock.

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Meet the Money Behind Planetary Resources, Dauria Aerospace

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Business Insider
takes a look at Ilya Golubovich and Mike Lousteau of I2BF Global Ventures, a company that’s backing some big-name space start-ups:

Known as green tech investors, Golubovich, based in Moscow, and Lousteau, in New York, have fallen in love with the nascent space industry. They’ve backed three space companies so far: Dauria Aerospace, Planetary Resources and CloudEO, with more on the way, making them one of most active space tech investors on Earth….

“One of our first investments was Planetary Resources co-founded by Eric Anderson, Diamandis, two visionaries. With this type of innovation, their market can be in the trillions, mining precious metals on nearby asteroids,” says Golubovich. I2BF was the sole investor in the company’s $1.5 million seed round….

That’s how they founded Dauria Aerospace, which is building low-cost satellites, launching them into space and letting anyone write apps for them. I2BF has invested $20 million of the company’s total $30 raised….

CloudEO collects vast amounts of data from various satellites and lets anyone write geo-location apps with that. Those are apps that can track your location and use that to help the app, whether its finding a parking spot or documenting your photos.

Read the full story.

ASTEROIDS Act Would Establish Space Property Rights

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Schematic view of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. (Credit: ESO)

Schematic view of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. (Credit: ESO)

Proving that there is some vision in Congress after all, U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) have introduced introduced the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act of 2014, which “establishes and protects property rights for commercial space exploration and utilization of asteroid resources.”

Now, if they can only get a budget passed by the end of the fiscal year, Congress could demonstrate vision and basic competence at governance, something it hasn’t achieved in many years. (It’s looking like another continuing resolution for NASA.)

But, I digress.

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Planetary Resources Wants Public to Help Find Asteroids

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REDMOND, Washington,  June 24, 2014 (Planetary Resources PR –
Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, and Zooniverse today launched Asteroid Zoo (www.asteroidzoo.org), empowering students, citizen scientists and space enthusiasts to aid in the search for previously undiscovered asteroids. The program allows the public to join the search for Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) of interest to scientists, NASA and asteroid miners, while helping to train computers to better find them in the future.

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Planetary Resources Selected for SBIR Phase I Contracts

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Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

NASA has selected asteroid mining company Planetary Resources for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards for the development of a propulsion module and advanced imaging technology for CubeSats.

One project involves the production of a standard propulsion module that could be used for CubeSats ranging from 6 to 12 units.

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Video: Deep Space Industries David Gump on Asteroid Mining

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Deep Space Industries CEO David Gump talks about asteroid mining.