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Which will be the first company to mine an asteroid…and will it be legal?

Artist's depiction of a DSI spacecraft harvesting resources from the surface of an asteroid. Credit: DSI

Artist’s depiction of a DSI spacecraft harvesting resources from the surface of an asteroid. Credit: DSI

In what many believe to be one of the next logical steps in broadening space as a commercial market, Deep Space Industries (DSI) has announced its plan to send the world’s first commercial mining spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid. To that end, the company’s Prospector-1 spacecraft is slated to launch before the close of the decade and will rendezvous with, and explore, one of the many asteroids inhabiting our planetary neighborhood.

Intelligent enough to operate without guidance from DSI’s mission control, the small spacecraft will be capable of analyzing the composition of the asteroid, via both visual light and infrared imaging, in order to determine the target’s water content. Water is a critical resource for off-Earth ventures, and finding a relatively easy source from which to extract it is an essential goal of DSI.

Read MUCH more in my full piece on SpaceFlight Insider.

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