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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday December 28 2017, @09:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the water-water-everywhere...-maybe dept.

Planetary Resources' Arkyd-6 ready for launch

After years of development, the Planetary Resources-built Arkyd-6 is finally on the last leg of its journey into space. It is scheduled to be launched as a secondary payload atop India's PSLV-C40 mission in January 2018.

At approximately 4 by 8 by 12 inches (10 by 20 by 30 centimeters), Arkyd-6 is about twice the size of its predecessor, Arkyd-3R, which was deployed from the International Space Station's Kibo module airlock in 2015.

The Arkyd-6 contains the technology that will be used in Planetary Resources' asteroid exploration program such as second-generation avionics, communications, and attitude control systems, as well as orientation systems to aid in attitude control. It also includes the A6 instrument, which will provide infrared images of the Earth in the midwave slice of the spectrum.

The broadband imager spans 3 to 5 microns of the infrared spectrum. This slice of the spectrum reveals the presence of water and is sensitive to heat. As such, the A6 can search for traces of water not only on Earth but elsewhere. The ultimate objective of future versions of this instrument is to find water on near-Earth asteroids.

Original Submission

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"Mission Success" for Arkyd-6 Asteroid Prospecting Demonstration Spacecraft 9 comments

Planetary Resources declares 'mission success' for Arkyd-6

The technology demonstration spacecraft Arkyd-6, built by Planetary Resources to test technologies for future asteroid prospecting, has completed all of its mission requirements, the company said April 24, 2018.

Launched on Jan. 12, 2018, atop an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle with 30 other satellites, the 22-pound (10-kilogram) Arkyd-6 was designed as a technology demonstrator for future missions to explore and categorize asteroids for eventual resource mining.

[...] The company said the spacecraft successfully deployed its solar panels, demonstrated using its attitude control, distributed computing systems, communications systems, and its Mid-Wavelength Infrared (MWIR) imager.

Planetary Resources said the MWIR is the first commercial imager of its kind in space. It is capable of detecting water and other resources on Earth, but the company hopes to use the technology to locate water and minerals on asteroids for potential mining.

The company plans to launch Arkyd-301 spacecraft to near-Earth asteroids starting in 2020. The article includes an animation of what an Algerian refinery looks like using the MWIR imager.

Previously: Planetary Resources' Arkyd-6 Ready for Launch

Original Submission

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