Startups on the extraction of minerals on asteroids began to close one after the other

If you, like us, watched the development of mining operations on the asteroids, the next news you obviously will not be happy. For the last two months, the American space startup has officially abandoned this idea and was eventually absorbed by a larger company, according to the portal Space Review. Recall that in November last year, the first change of direction of the work, said the company Planetary Resources. Now the closure and merger with a larger company operating in an adjacent sector, said Deep Space Industries.

The last ten years, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and government officials are actively discussing the prospects for commercial space development and in particular the question of mining on asteroids, the moon and other planets of the Solar system. One of the pioneers of this field were two us start — up Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, announced the desire to implement these ideas back in 2012 and 2013.

In recent years, engineers are Planetary Resources was able to launch several probes, which were worked out of the technologyrequired to find, capture, and resource extraction on asteroids. Companies have even managed to attract the attention of one of the States. Such projects are interested in Luxembourg, who even signed an agreement with Deep Space Industries and has allocated funding for the development of tip-earners Xplore the latter, and signed a Memorandum of cooperation with some other similar startups.

Space Review notes that despite high interest from the public, both companies in the end are unable to attract serious investment, which would allow them to move forward in the development of this sector. Lack of funds has delayed the implementation of the plans and mass layoffs of employees. Watching this picture, in the end, the Luxembourg government refused to continue cooperation. Whether it was the final point — not reported, but the blow for both companies, apparently, was very serious.

In the end, as noted, both “changed the vector of development” and were absorbed by two larger companies — Bradford Space and ConsenSys. Interestingly, the second generally not involved in the space sector (and, most likely, not planning), and works in the market of cryptocurrency transactions. The first is based in Europe and engaged in development of engines for micro-satellites and other spacecraft.

On the merger of Deep Space Industries with Bradford Space was announced in early January:

“We really believe in the development of research resources of the Solar system and would like to become one of those who would be willing to do it. On the other hand, achieving this dream requires a more step-by-step and methodical approach. We came to the conclusion that it needs to solve a lot more problems than originally anticipated” commented the purchase of DSI CEO Bradford Space Ian, Fichtenbaum.

Fichtenbaum noted that the purchase of DSI will help the company to penetrate the US market and increase the product range that it offers both public and private space companies around the world. The head of the Bradford Space emphasizes that many promising projects, which were developed in the DSI, will continue to develop inside the Bradford Space. It is, for example, about the engine. on the unique water fuel, as well as the probe Xplorer. However, now the development will be directed not on the exploration of asteroids and their minerals, and the creation of satellites for near-earth space.