Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today that its Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) spacecraft deployed successfully from the International Space Station’s (ISS) Kibo airlock and has begun its 90-day mission. The demonstration vehicle will validate several core technologies including the avionics, control systems and software, which the company will incorporate into future spacecraft that will venture into the Solar System and prospect for resource-rich near-Earth asteroids.
The A3R launched to the ISS onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 in April as a part of the CRS-6 crew resupply mission. “Our philosophy is to test often, and if possible, to test in space. The A3R is the most sophisticated, yet cost-effective, test demonstration spacecraft ever built. We are innovating on every level from design to launch,” said Chris Lewicki, president and chief engineer, Planetary Resources, Inc. “By vertically integrating the system at our facility in Redmond, we are in constant control of every component, including the ones we purchase off the shelf and the others that we manufacture using 3D printers.”
Arkyd 3R Deploying from the Kibo Module on the International Space Station, Courtesy of NASA.
SOURCES- Planetary Resources