Locally sourced for local use.
Supporting space commerce with space resources.
The business of space is growing rapidly. It is currently a $330 billion industry with accelerating growth. The number of new private companies being created to use space commercially is at an all-time high, with $13.3 billion invested in over eighty space startup companies since 2000. Continuing rapid growth of in-space businesses will increase the need for an in-space supply of propellants, life support materials, metals, and other commodities. This is the goal of Deep Space Industries: in-space delivery of the right materials, to the right place, for the right price, to support the sustainable expansion of Earth’s economy into space.
Asteroid resources include all the same materials planets are made of, providing an abundant supply of exactly what we need in space. Specifically, C-group and related classes of asteroids contain high abundances of water and important elements — including organic carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus — as well as ferrous metals.
Is asteroid mining legal?
Near Earth Asteroids.
The initial targets for mining are those that pass through Earth’s neighborhood. Many water-rich Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are easy to access as they travel around the Sun in very similar orbits to Earth. Additionally, these small bodies have very little mass, and therefore very little gravity, making it easy to extract resources.
Asteroid mining begins with prospecting for the best resources. Then materials are harvested and processed into refined, usable supplies. Finally, these resources can be manufactured into finished products. DSI and its partners are developing end-to-end technologies to accomplish these steps in the unique environment of space.
Because water will fuel the future.
Water is the most abundant chemical compound in the Universe. It is abundant in our solar system and is fundamental to life and business operations in space. Water is vital to supporting human habitation for things such as drinking water, agriculture, radiation shielding, and oxygen. Additionally, water, as super-heated vapor, can be used as propellant. It can also be broken down into its constituent parts — liquid hydrogen and oxygen — to be used as fuel.
Water is at the core of Deep Space Industries’ work both today and in the future. It is the first resource we will harvest, and the first product we will sell. It is the basis for the propulsion systems that are being integrated into small satellites today, such as DSI’s market-optimized Comet-1™ thruster. Water is the core resource that will support businesses and humans in space.
The Deep Space Approach
4 Phases of Asteroid Mining
Using tiny scouts to locate and evaluate space resources.
Deep Space Industries will soon launch its first prospecting missions, using advanced, small spacecraft — like Prospector-1™ — to explore and study Near Earth Asteroids. These prospecting spacecraft will be fitted with sophisticated scientific equipment to help them find water, metals, silicates, and more.
Using robotic spacecraft to extract and transport resources.
After prospecting missions have identified the best locations for mining, Deep Space Industries will send specialized robotic spacecraft to begin harvesting resources such as water. Using the company’s next generation Comet water thruster, water extracted from the target asteroid can also be used as propellant for the return trip.
Separating resources into usable materials.
Once asteroid materials are returned to near-Earth space, they can then be processed into fuel, drinking water, and building supplies. Harvesting spacecraft will unload their cargo to a processing complex that begins the detailed separation and evolution of materials, getting them ready for manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing in microgravity.
Manufacturing in microgravity and hard vacuum offers both opportunities and challenges. The upside of making things in space includes the ability to create very large structures that would never fit into the confines of a launch vehicle’s payload fairing. Huge solar arrays to produce energy and enormous antenna to enhance communications satellites are among the possibilities.
Experience the Future [VIDEO]
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Contact a DSI team member to learn more about how we can help your company achieve mission success.