You must know already that numerous asteroids exist in space. However, if we talk about those who are close to us, then there are almost sixteen thousand of them which keep orbiting the sun. Known as near-to-earth asteroids, these nearby asteroids are supposed to contain two 2 trillion metric tons of water. For those who do not know, let us tell you that one metric ton covers more than 2200 pounds (264 gallons). The fact why we are saying you all this Mathematics is that NASA (National Aeronautics Space Agency) spends an average amount of more than ten thousand dollars to lift one pound of water into orbit. Be it about the drinking water or the atoms of hydrogen or oxygen that are rearranged to get rocket fuel; one cannot deny the fact that lifting water into orbit is very expensive. And this is where Planetary Resources is thinking of a fantastic plan for mining asteroids.
The space company called Planetary Resources is planning to initiate dispatching spaceships in only two years, that is, in 2020. As part of its essential plan and strategy, the pioneering space company had taken a significant step towards its mission of asteroid mining. The space company had launched Arkyd-6. Arkyd-6 is a spacecraft sent by Planetary Resources which is expected to study, analyze and test the technologies that have to be utilized for mining of asteroids. One of such vital techniques includes the MWIR. The MWIR or the mid-wavelength infrared imager technology is related to sense water as well as other resources on asteroids. This technology is considered to be quite vital for fulfilling the objective of asteroid mining. As per sources, the proper use of this technology will provide positive results in space mining.
In fact, Arkyd-6 is the second space venture of Planetary Resources. Earlier, the company had tasted the success of Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) satellite that was launched from ISS (International Space Station) in the year 2015. Now, this leading space company is planning to launch few more spacecraft. According to the sources from Planetary Resources, these spacecraft will be solar powered in nature and will belong to the Arkyd-301 group. It is being said that the solar-powered spacecraft of Planetary Resources will aim at the near-Earth asteroids and will detect any possibilities of water and valuable minerals in those asteroids. The sources also said that in the beginning, the spacecraft would target the locations of interest in the near-Earth asteroid.