|An illustration of Prospector-1, a mission that will visit a near Earth asteroid to look for water ice.|
Credit: Deep Space Industries
LOGAN, Utah — Deep Space Industries plans to launch a small satellite by the end of the decade to survey a near Earth asteroid, the next major step in the company's long-term ambitions to mine asteroids for resources.
The company, based in Mountain View, California, announced its Prospector-1 mission Aug. 9. The 50-kilogram satellite is designed to visit an asteroid and look for deposits of water ice that could, in the future, be mined and used as propellant by other spacecraft.
"This is intended to be a very low cost first commercial mission to an asteroid," said Grant Bonin, chief engineer of Deep Space Industries, in a presentation about Prospector-1 Aug. 9 during the 30th Annual Conference on Small Satellites at Utah State University here.
Deep Space Industries Unveils First Asteroid Prospecting Spacecraft, Jeff Foust