Deep Space Industries Announces Fleet of Asteroid Hunting Spacecraft

Deep Space Industries announced today that it will send a fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft out into the solar system to hunt for resources to accelerate space development to benefit Earth.  These “FireFly” spacecraft utilize low-cost cubesat components and get discounted delivery to space by ride-sharing on the launch of larger communications satellites.

Deep Space: Mine

Move over, Peter D! You’ve got company!

Former Astrobotic Technology President David Gump has resurfaced with a new company, Deep Space Industries, which will announce the “world’s first fleet of commercial asteroid-prospecting spacecraft” during a press conference at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Deep Space Industries is the second asteroid mining company to make a public announcement in the past year. Planetary Resources — founded by Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson — is aiming for the same market.

Eric Berger over at Space News has more information on the company.

Astrobiotic Lays Out Lunar Data Library Licensing, Flight Schedule

Astrobotic to License Access to Lunar Data Library
David Gump

Astrobotic will create a ‘Digital Moon’ by developing an integrated lunar library of company-collected data combined with information from open sources. Data types will range from radiation and soil characteristics to the performance of various components and materials in the lunar environment. Data products will range from raw collections to highly processed information solutions that meet our customers’ needs….

“The company’s initial mission is the Tranquility TrekTM expedition planned for December 2010 to the historic Apollo 11 site. The company selected Apollo 11 as the initial destination both for its high public interest and for the ability to see how materials left there have weathered from radiation and micrometeorite bombardment. This will be key information for design of future outposts. The mission also aims to win the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize and demonstrate precision landing at designated destination, within meters of the intended coordinates.”

Google Lunar X Prize Competitor Astrobiotic to Send Robot to Moon in May 2010

Astrobiotic Press Release
30 October 2008

At a meeting of worldwide Moon exploration experts, Astrobotic Technology Inc. today unveiled its plans for a series of robotic expeditions to build a lunar data library.

“Astrobotic will robotically explore the Moon’s high-interest areas on a commercial basis, collecting information required to design future outposts and to answer scientific questions about the Moon and Earth,” said President David Gump. “Our data library also will point the way to utilizing lunar energy and mineral resources to lower the cost of exploration and eventually supply markets on Earth.”