Planetary Resources has shown a roadmap for its future missions. Not surprisingly, the near-term missions are much better defined. Details on the final phase (asteroid mining) are hard to come by. That’s not surprising at this point. As Planetary Resources says, “Recovery and processing of materials… will occur through significant research and development.”

Yet, they’ve apparently determined one detail already. At yesterday’s press conference, it was stated that all of their projects (presumably including the mining phase) would be robotic. That’s not unexpected given the technical team. Chris Lewicki and Cris Voorhees come from the robots uber ulles branch of space science. If they’re successful, capturing and moving an asteroid would be the largest single project ever undertaken entirely by robotics. It remains to be seen whether that’s possible or whether Planetary Resources will ultimately change its plans and accept the need to have humans onsite for supervision and troubleshooting. There’s still plenty of time for mid-course corrections, of course, since any asteroid capture is years away.

Planetary Resources robot captures water-rich asteroid


Written by Astro1 on April 25th, 2012 , Planetary Resources Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *