In prior work they elevated the TRL of the Apis architecture and roadmap from level 1-2 to level 3-4 by completing:
* Detailed design, fabrication, assembly, and test of the Optical Mining Test Bed (OMTB), a fully integrated test bed for systematic experimentation for the maturation of Optical Mining technology,
* Operation of the OMTB targeting various test materials including heat resistant bricks and CI type asteroid simulants.
* Higher fidelity design and analysis of all roadmap spacecraft and missions including the Mini Bee
* Higher fidelity asteroid resource exploration mapping based on a synthetic population of asteroids derived from the Granvik model co-authored by our Co-I Robert Jedicke in Nature with the update results submitted for publication in Icarus.
Work to be Performed:
1. Road Mapping and Mission Analysis
* Round trip mission designs based on latest modeling results
* More Detailed Apis
* Conceptual design of robotic systems to assist in manipulating asteroids during resource extraction
2. Technology Maturation and Demonstration
* Experimental exploration in OMTB to improve physics models of optical mining
* End to End modeling/simulation of rarified gas dynamics, granular material flow and filter design for resource separation and capture during extraction
* Demonstration of a solar thermal Omnivore
3. Develop Mini Bee
* Mini Bee
* Integration of the STR thruster with the optical reflector and overall integration of the propellant feed system for both the STR and water based resistojet RCS provided by our partner Momentus Space.
On completion of this Phase 3, TransAstra will be in position to successfully propose Mini Bee
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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