Harvesting

har·vest: ˈhärvəst/ verb
(1) To catch, take or remove for use, or (2) to gain, win, acquire or use.

After prospecting missions have identified asteroids with concentrated volatiles (such as water and hydrocarbons) and other materials of interest, Deep Space Industries will begin collection with specialized robotic spacecraft.

Harvestor spacecraft will utilize volatiles extracted from the target asteroid as propellant for the return trip. Benefaction, a rough separation process, will discard the low-value material before the Harvestor transports the most valuable resources
to a processing depot in Earth orbit. These raw materials will then be processed into valuable products such as fuel, water, oxygen and building supplies such as feedstock for 3D printers on orbit.

Mission Objectives:

Harvestors will collect rocks and regolith (soil) from asteroids, rather than bring back entire solid bodies. Collecting loose soil and rocks instead of whole asteroids ensures that no guidance or control malfunctions can pose risks to people on Earth.

Mission Specifications:

Round-trip journeys will last two to four years depending on the target asteroid’s unique orbit. The Deep Space harvesting spacecraft will be designed for multiple voyages, carrying hundreds to tens of thousands of tons of asteroid materials.

Mission Spacecraft:

Modified from typical communications satellite designs, these spacecraft will have higher power solar arrays to drive high-efficiency ion thrusters. Harvestor spacecraft will rely on DSI’s innovative CubeSat-compatible technology to provide high performance Communications, Propulsion, Pointing, Power and Operations.

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