Virgin Galactic to Collaborate with Planetary Resources
Planetary Resources, a start-up that searches and eventually mines precious materials in space has announced a partnership with Virgin Galactic space organization. This cooperation should increase the number of rocket launches.
Planetary Resources plan to track and eventually mine asteroids close to space. First of all, they plan to use LauncherOne to launch space telescopes. This spacecraft was developed by Virgin Galactic and would be ideally suited for small satellites that orbits around the Earth. The LauncherOne itself is launched from the White Knight mothership, where it is charged in low Earth orbit. In this area, it will release its payload.
Planetary Resources thinks that by using the relatively cheap LauncherOne they can launch more space telescopes in orbit around the earth. The company has the necessary space telescopes to search for asteroids that it wants to investigate for the presence of water and other precious metals. At a later stage, robots will go mine these precious commodities.
The two companies have agreed to launch the Arkyd 100-Space Telescope Planetary Resources in a low orbit around the Earth. Specific plans for launches were not yet disclosed, but it is known that it will take place in the coming years. Interestingly enough LauncherOne may not be used to launch mining materials and robots in the future.
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