Planetary Resources, Inc.’s announcement Wednesday, April 24, of its plan to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials has been received by the media and public with great interest and excitement.
Planetary Resources is hoping to retrieve large quantities of platinum and precious metals from these near-Earth asteroids, as well as water for the production of rocket fuel. In order to build the satellites and spacecraft capable of asteroid mining, Planetary Resources will rely on industry leading RF cable assemblies that are proven to be capable of withstanding deep-space testing conditions.
MegaPhase is the only provider of RF cables that has already rendezvoused with an asteroid. The Japanese Hayabusa space probe, equipped with MegaPhase’s GrooveTube cable assemblies, captured particles from the asteroid Itokawa in 2010. The seven year mission began in May 2003, when the Hayabusa spacecraft launched.
In September of 2005, the Hayabusa engaged the Itokawa asteroid and studied the asteroid’s shape, spin, topography, color, composition, density, and history before landing on the asteroid in November of 2005 and collecting samples of the asteroidal material. The Hayabusa returned to earth five years later in June of 2010, after traveling more than 186,411,358 miles (twice the distance between the earth and the sun) and undergoing rigorous testing including radiation, thermal shock and vibration.
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