Planetary Resources is embarking on the world’s first commercial deep space exploration program. The purpose is to identify and unlock the critical water resources necessary for human expansion in space.
Sourcing water is the first step to creating a civilization in space. Water is used for life support functions and can also be refined into rocket propellant. The initial mission will identify the asteroids that contain the best source of water, and will simultaneously provide the vital information needed to build a commercial mine which will harvest water for use in space.
The program is an extensive data-gathering series of missions in deep space that will visit multiple near-Earth asteroids. The goal is to answer the question: where will we establish the first mine in space?
In 2020, Planetary Resources will deploy multiple spacecraft via a single rocket launch. The rocket will carry the exploration spacecraft just beyond the influence of Earth’s gravity where they will continue their journey using low-thrust ion propulsion systems. Each spacecraft will visit a pre-determined target asteroid to collect data and test material samples.
Data collection will include global hydration mapping and subsurface extraction demonstrations to determine the quantity of water and the value of the resources available. The information gathered will allow Planetary Resources to design, construct and deploy the first commercial mine in space.