Bradford Space Group says it’s acquired California-based Deep Space Industries, which means that both of the ventures that were created to mine asteroids have now been bought up to focus on different priorities.
California-based Deep Space Industries says it has signed a contract to provide water-spraying thrusters for the BlackSky Earth observation satellites that are due to be built in Seattle.
The contract covers an initial block of 20 Comet water-based satellite propulsion systems. The systems expel superheated water vapor as propellant to adjust the attitude of small spacecraft in orbit.
Twenty satellites are scheduled to go into orbit by 2020 in the first phase of an Earth observation effort managed by BlackSky, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries. The first satellite, dubbed Global-1, is due for launch this year.
One of the two big players in the asteroid mining market, Deep Space Industries, today unveiled its plan to land a 110-pound spacecraft on a near-Earth asteroid by 2020.
The spacecraft, known as Prospector-1, would study the yet-to-be-selected asteroid to determine the value of its resources for mining. It’ll also put Deep Space Industries’ water-based propulsion system to an interplanetary test.
“Deep Space Industries has worked diligently to get to this point, and now we can say with confidence that we have the right technology, the right team and the right plan to execute this historic mission,” Rick Tumlinson, DSI’s board chairman and co-founder, said in a news release.
California-based DSI and its partners in Luxembourg say they’ll launch a precursor satellite called Prospector-X into low Earth orbit next year to test the technologies that would be used for Prospector-1.
President Barack Obama today put his signature on a law supporting the rights of space miners to extract, use and sell resources from asteroids, the moon, Mars and other celestial bodies – giving space-minded entrepreneurs something extra to be thankful for.
“This is the single greatest recognition of property rights in history,” Eric Anderson, co-founder and co-chairman of Redmond-based Planetary Resources, said in a news release. “This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and will encourage the sustained development of space.”
Anderson’s company has said the asteroid mining industry could eventually grow to trillions of dollars a year – but that’s dependent on the establishment of a spacefaring infrastructure that can use the off-earth water and other raw materials from near-Earth asteroids.