Planetary Resources aims to be the leading provider of resources for people and products in space through its goal of identifying, extracting and refining resources from near-Earth asteroids. The company’s first technology demonstration satellite, the Arkyd-3, was launched from Cape Canaveral in 2015 and deployed from the International Space Station. Also, the company successfully lobbied towards the passage of the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2262) which recognises the right of US citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain and encourages the commercial exploration and utilisation of resources from asteroids. In 2016, the company announced a partnership with the Government of Luxembourg to advance the space resources industry and in 2017, Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies passed a law recognising the right to space-based resources. In 2018, the company successfully completed the Arkyd-6 mission that contained a demonstration of technology designed to detect water resources in space and has completed the world’s first deep space resource exploration plan to characterize hydrated resources on near-Earth asteroids.
Products and services
Planetary Resources intends to produce propellant and life support in space from water. The water molecule consists of hydrogen and oxygen which can be refined into high-efficiency fuel. Making propellant available in space increases the payload capacity of rockets, enables the creation of a space highway with fuel depots located at various points of need throughout the Solar System, and allows spacecraft to travel much farther.
Water is required to sustain human life. The ability to transport large quantities of water to space has been a roadblock in furthering human expansion into the Solar System. Beyond the use of water for sustenance, water is also needed in space for hygiene, growing food, and producing breathable air. Water can also be used for radiation shielding.
Also, Planetary Resources’ long-term plans include mining asteroids for structural and precious metals. Structural metals will be harvested and used as construction materials in space. Sourcing these materials from beyond Earth’s gravitational influence enables the construction of low-cost structures that are not limited by size. Precious metals will be used for in-space manufacturing of high-end electronics, laboratory equipment and spacecraft components.
Major space projects
Successfully completed the Arkyd-6 6U Cubesat mission, the first commercial demonstration of Mid-Wave Infrwared Imaging in Earth orbit.
Currently focused on financing the company’s space resource exploration mission intended to characterise hydrated resources on near-Earth asteroids.
Print this page Send by email