Credit: Planetary Resources
Initial space resource development will focus on water-rich asteroids. Water is the essence of life and exists in plentiful supply on asteroids. Access to water and other life-supporting volatiles in space provides hydration, breathable air, radiation shielding and even manufacturing capabilities. Water’s elements, hydrogen and oxygen, can also be used to formulate rocket fuel. Using the resources of space – to explore space – will enable the large-scale exploration of the Solar System.
Recovery and processing of materials in a microgravity environment will occur through significant research and development. Planetary Resources will lead the creation of critical in-situ extraction and processing technologies to provide access to both asteroidal water and metals. When combined with our low-cost deep space explorers, this represents an enabling capability for the sustainable development of space.