Here are a few pictures of the Arkyd 100 Series prospecting satellite that a group of billionaire investors are sending to space, in search of valuable asteroids to mine.
This is actually the second satellite built in Bellevue by their venture, Planetary Resources; it was shown at the company’s introductory press conference today:
Here’s a company rendering of the craft in space:
After the exploratory satellites identify asteroids with valuable resources, a “swarm” of six robotic mining satellites will be sent on multiple spacecraft. They won’t necessarily have headlamps and pickaxes – they’ll be like snow blowers that scoop up loose material from the surface of the asteroids.
Here are a few quotes from Planetary Resources executives that I sent earlier via Twitter:
“Since my earliest teenage years I’ve wanted to be an Asteroid miner,” Peter Diamandis, co-founder and co-chairman.
“Does NASA need gas stations on the way to Mars?” Eric Anderson, co-founder and co-chairman
“We’re going to create propellant depots that open up the roadways to the rest of the solar system,” Anderson
“This is smart money investing in one of the largest commercial opportunities ever,” Diamandis.
Here’s another rendering, courtesy of Atari: