Meet the Arkyd-100, a prototype asteroid mining satellite

Planetary Resources

Last year, we took a look at Planetary Resources’ plan to mine space rocks for platinum group metals and other resources with some skepticism. One of the company’s first goals was to develop a prospecting spacecraft, the Arkyd-100 Series, within the next 18 to 24 months.

Well, here it is—or at least afull-scale prototype of the craft—in its first video appearance.

The Arkyd-100 series is a type of low Earth orbit spacecraft that will search for promising mining candidates from the approximately 9,000 known near-Earth asteroids. Each of these small 11-kilogram spacecrafts will come equipped with a fold-up telescope to capture images across a “wide range of wavelengths and intensity levels.”

The satellites will also feature deployable solar arrays, avionics bays, an instrument and sensor package, and a chemical propulsion system.

On top of examining asteroids on their own, the Arkyd-100s will also create a sort of laser communications network gird. If this reminds you of how NASA used a laser sending the Mona Lisa to the Moon , that’s because NASA contracted Planetary Resources to help develop a laser communications system.

Planetary Resources President Chris Lewicki says that the company expects to launch the Arkyd 100 series sometime in late 2014 and into 2015.

[Planetary Resources via Engadget]

Get more GeekTech: Twitter - Facebook - RSS | Tip us off

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Today in Tech Newsletter