Asteroid Mining Corporation Introduces the SCAR-E Robot for Space Exploration17th Oct 2023
Asteroid Mining Corp. unveiled its newest invention, a robot named SCAR-E, at the Space Economy Summit. The event showcases the latest developments in the space economy and covers a range of topics, including space tourism and sustainable living beyond Earth.
Asteroid Mining Corporation is a UK-based space resources company developing various types of platforms to allow the exploration and extraction of off-Earth resources, including from asteroids.
The company, headquartered in London, plans to offer services using a six-limbed, 20-kilogram machine known as Space Capable Asteroid Robotic-Explorer. During the Summit, the robot, nicknamed SCAR-E, demonstrated its ability to lift its legs individually, showcasing its potential for a wide range of applications in space resource extraction.
Although the immediate plan with SCAR-E is to provide commercial services, the company aims to have the robot tend to more significant tasks in the future, such as asteroid prospecting and the exploration of lunar craters.
What Does SCAR-E Have to Offer?
The hexapodous robot SCAR-E is designed to complete tasks otherwise seemingly impossible for its conventional quadruped counterparts. For instance, while wheeled rovers can scale flatter surfaces, they may struggle to do so on steeper slopes. In contrast, SCAR-E’s six-finger grippers allow it to perform more complex inspection tasks.
Furthermore, due to its ability to raise its legs individually, the robot can scale walls, inspect ship hulls, and adjust to complex terrains.
Mitch Hunter-Scullion, the CEO and founder of Asteroid Mining Corp., envisions deploying SCAR-E, or its eventual successor, to asteroids as soon as the early 2030s. He also revealed his other plans during the event.
“We are looking for International Space Station and lunar applications for this very robot in about 2026, 2027,” Hunter-Scullion revealed.
“Beyond that, we’d be looking to validate target selection for an expedition-class mission. Then, towards the end of this decade, if not the early 2030s, we’d be looking to send this very robot or its son up to the asteroids in order to start exploring the resources so humanity can take advantage of our celestial backyard.”
Future Prospects for Asteroid Mining Corp.
The development of SCAR-E is not the only project Asteroid Mining Corp. is focusing on. While providing SCAR-E for commercial and industrial use, the start-up will also work on developing a materials-processing satellite known as Alchemist-1, which could have a crucial role in space mining ventures by processing materials obtained from asteroids and other cosmic objects.
More About Asteroid Mining Corp.
Established in 2016, the private company is the United Kingdom’s first space mining company. Besides its London head office, Asteroid Mining Corporation also has a research lab in Sendai, Japan, as well as a US branch in Atlanta.
According to the company’s website, the company’s outlook for the future involves utilizing asteroids as a key component of the extraterrestrial economy.
The start-up’s first mining operation will concentrate on setting up extraction and processing equipment to retrieve 20 tonnes of platinum, equivalent to 10% of the world’s annual supply. They will carry on transporting reusable shuttles to and from Earth until the mine is depleted. As the company puts it, such efforts will serve as the basis for humanity’s sustained expansion into space.
For more on Asteroid Mining Corp and its competitors, see Orbital Today’s list of leading asteroid mining companies.