Asteroid-Mining ‘FireFlys’ Will Be Ready for Action by 2015
A second commercial venture to mine the near infinite resources of outer space has been started, and Deep Space Industries (DSI) is promising its spacecraft and 3D printers will allow successful mining operations within a decade. The venture says that it will have its first class of 55lb “FireFly” probes ready for action by 2015, hitching a ride on other commercial launches, and during their six-month missions will explore Near Earth Objects (NEO) for useful materials.
The second generation of larger probes, dubbed DragonFlies, will be sent off by 2016 to land on and mine asteroids, producing around 60lb to 150lbs of finished cargo on a two to four-year mission. The design for this second class of spacecraft is still under review but FireFly designs are largely sorted.