Thursday, January 24, 2013


When it comes to NASA & fostering near Earth orbital commercialization a company named DSI has entered the ring. There are approximately 9,500 Asteroids near Earth with about 1,500 easier to get to than the moon. It is with that in mind that Deep Space Industries has announced its intentions. AND as a benefit to NASA, DSI plans to break into the arena, figure it out, and share the data.

Now this is a field that I have often contemplated the value in due to the large amount of resources that space is known to have. Not the only does the company seek to go where no man has gone before, DSI has announced a plan. They have broken the process down into several steps that make it sound quite simple. First they plan to send/utilize cubesats (mini-satellites; I wrote of them in an earlier post) These probes will locate the asteroids. Once they have been identified then the Firefly, a DSI spacecraft, will be able to select from the candidates based on the value assigned to the resources on the asteroid in question, learning the composition, the spin rate, and basic anticipated return rate. Next DSI will send in the Dragonfly to get samples for study and processing.

The final spacecraft to be send will be the Harvester. The Harvester is intended to bring the asteroid back to Earth. Individual asteroids or their pieces would have to be limited to about 30 meters in diameter.

This is what was hoped for with NASA back in 1958. NASA was always meant to be a civilian space agency. And now, 54 years later, the commercial race is on!

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