Deep Space Industries
|Founded||January 22, 2013|
|Founder||Rick N. Tumlinson |
John C. Mankins
|Bill Miller, CEO|
Grant Bonin, CTO
Sagi Kfir, General Counsel
|Products||Deep Space Xplorer, Comet|
|Footnotes / references|
Deep Space Industries, or DSI, was an American privately-held company operating in the space technology and space exploration sectors. The company is developing and building spacecraft technology that allows private companies and government agencies to access destinations throughout the solar system. DSI's stated goal is to democratize access to deep space by fundamentally changing the paradigm for accessing deep space and substantially lowering the cost. On Jan. 1, 2019 DSI was acquired by Bradford Space.
DSI was formally announced on January 22, 2013. DSI spent 3-½ years investigating the feasibility of space resource utilization. In late 2015, DSI received venture funding to begin the development of a propulsion system and spacecraft capable of traveling from low Earth orbit (LEO) to deep space on its own.
As of 2013[update], the company CEO was David Gump, previously of Transformational Space Corporation and Astrobotic Technology. Chairman Rick N. Tumlinson is a founder of the Space Frontier Foundation, among other organizations in the field of space exploration. Sometime prior to August 2016, Daniel Faber became the CEO. In January 2017 DSI named Bill Miller as Chief Executive Officer. Miller is a startup strategist.
Spacecraft and technologies
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As of June 2018, Deep Space Industries is working on a series of technologies that aim to lower the cost of access to high earth orbits and deep space for private companies and government agencies.
Xplorer is a spacecraft that that is designed to use its own propulsion system to travel from low Earth orbit (LEO) to an Earth departure trajectory or higher Earth orbits such as geostationary orbit (GEO). Xplorer is built to enable exploration and high delta-V applications within low Earth orbits, geosynchronous orbit, near-Earth asteroids, and deep space destinations such as Lunar orbits, Venus, or Mars.
Xplorer is equipped to give a 10 kg payload a delta-V capability of approximately 5 km/s, with greater payload masses possible at lower delta-V requirements. Xplorer also provides deep space communications, navigation, attitude control, thermal control, and payload power. Xplorer’s Reaction Control System gives six degrees of freedom to maneuver close to celestial objects. Xplorer is capable of launching on a variety of commercial rideshares to low Earth orbit, and decouples launch timing from orbit raising and Earth departure maneuvers.
Comet is a launch-safe electrothermal propulsion system designed for orbit raising, life extension, and de-orbit. It uses water as a propellant, and is scalable for CubeSats to small micro-satellites, with a flexible interface suitable for a wide range of spacecraft. The system is approved to fly on multiple launch vehicles as part of a secondary or rideshare spacecraft.
|“Episode 206: Is Space the Place? Trying to Save Humanity by Mining Asteroids”, Science History Institute|
The announcement of DSI was met with both praise and criticism. Several unnamed scientists have questioned whether cost-effective asteroid mining could even be accomplished given competition in Earth terrestrial markets and the high cost of returning high-value minerals to Earth. However, DSI has responded to these statements by stating that the majority of the materials mined—principally water—would be destined for use in space, thus avoiding the enormous fuel costs of repeatedly returning to and escaping from Earth's gravitational field, and additionally, that servicing communications satellite constellations could earn the company $5 to 8 million per month.
Whether Deep Space Industries would be competing in similar services as Planetary Resources was also questioned. In particular, Planetary Resources has not released information on their intentions for processing, power generation, or in-space manufacturing hardware and equipment. Deep Space Industries has not yet announced its spacecraft manufacturing partnerships for the FireFly 1.
- "Company Team". Deep Space Industries. 2018-06-01. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
- "Bill Miller, Veteran Start-Up Strategist, Joins DSI as Chief Executive Officer". Deep Space Industries. 2017-01-09. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
- "Respected Nanosat Leader Joins Asteroid Mining Team - Deep Space Industries". Deep Space Industries. 2015-09-08. Archived from the original on 2017-09-08.
- Soper, Taylor (January 22, 2013). "Deep Space Industries entering asteroid-mining world, creates competition for Planetary Resources". GeekWire: Dispatches from the Digital Frontier. GeekWire. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Rincon, Paul (January 22, 2013). "New venture 'to mine asteroids'". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Commercial Asteroid Hunters announce plans for new Robotic Exploration Fleet" (Press release). Deep Space Industries. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Wall, Mike (January 22, 2013). "Asteroid-Mining Project Aims for Deep-Space Colonies". Space.com. TechMediaNetwork. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Létourneau, Alex (2013-01-25). "Asteroid Mining Becoming More Of A Reality". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- "Metatron Global to invest in Deep Space Industries to advance asteroid mining mission - Aerospace Technology". Aerospace Technology. 2015-10-18. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
- Daniel Faber, Deep Space Industries, interview on TMRO broadcast, published 20 August 2016.
- William Miller, Chief Executive Officer at Deep Space Industries
- Boyle, Alan (January 22, 2012). "Deep Space Industries' lofty asteroid ambitions face high financial hurdles". Cosmic Log. National Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- Official website
- Prospecting for Asteroid Resources, Prospector-X and Prospector-1 overview concept of operations video, July 2016.
- Animated plans and project presentation – 4-min video
- Press conference, Jan 22 2013 – 103-min video
- Asteroid Mining 1 session, National Space Society ISDC 2013 conference – 15 June 2013. DSI CEO D. Gump speaks 15:00–28:30, followed by Q&A from the audience.
- Illustrated concept – 9-picture gallery