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April 24, 2012

Liveblogging the Planetary Resources Conference Part 2

The Planetary Resources website is now live too


Destiny is a thing to be achieved

Chris Lewicki
President and Chief Engineer

Wants to get costs down to tens of millions and then down to single digit millions for space access

We will take and accept risk where appropriate

The moon program started with robotic exploration and surveyers. Ranger and lunar orbiter.

Our first series of prospecting space craft are the Arkyd series.

Working on the Arkyd 101 Low earth orbit as a commercial telescope.

Already have the Arkyd 102 designed and the model is on stage.

Arc second resolution.
Demo the communication platform.
Usable by academics and even school children

Take a once rare tool into a personal tool for everyone.

The 200 series will be moveable telescopes that will move out of low earth orbit.
A swarm of half a dozen telescopes with work together to characterize targets in detail.
They will leverage cloud computing and AI.

The 300 series will extract.

With swarm we will have safety in numbers. We will live with risk and learn from failure.
If failure is not an option then success becomes very expensive.

John Lewis is on the team. This has been his life work. He is on the advisory board.

Here is a summary of a presentation by John Lewis on the value of near earth asteroids and details of a NASA study on space mining

There are about 500,000 to one million asteroids over 50 meter in size.


433 Eros is an example



The first unambiguous rubble pile asteroid to be photographed is 25143 Itokawa, which has no obvious impact craters and is thus almost certainly a coalescence of shattered fragments.

The rubble pile asteroids we can just make a vacuum like machine to gather and filter resources.





Ross Perot Junior is an aviator. Got his fixed wing flight license in high school.
Flew with the air force. Flew a helicopter around the world.

He is betting on the jockey and not the horse. Believes in the team.
This is a great american story.

Charles Simonyi speaking.
Yes, there is risk with the venture and would not want anyone mortgaging their homes for this kind of investment.
It is not an investment for government or NASA money.

But these private investors can afford to take the risk and it is a worthwhile risk for humanity.

Like personal computers it was a paradigm from the old mainframes.
The vision of getting a personal computer on every desktop was a shocking departure from what went before


questions and answers
Want to get first space telescope up at the end of 2013
They want an assembly line making the new spacecraft.
Each will be a swiss army knife with many tools.

The Arkyd 100 will be the focus for the first 3 years.
The Arkyd 200 with propulsion will be the focus after that for 2 years.
The Arkyd 300 hopefully may go up by 2020 with an target identified by the 100 and 200 series.
A goal is to have identified the top 20 targets by 2020.

the trillion of dollar in resources is true but is over many decades.

Water is the gateway material that enables everything else


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