Planetary Resources, Inc. has posted an update that includes a description by Chris Lewicki of the designing of the Arkyd-100 spacecraft series: Planetary & Virgin Galactic, Tech Details… Planetary Resources - The Arkyd-100 is version 1.0 of our ultra-low-cost asteroid prospecting “bus”, used in LEO as a space telescope and technology development platform. It has many of the features that we’ll need for studying near-Earth asteroids up-close:
- A large telescopic optic for taking detailed pictures (25cm aperture with less than 1° field of view allowing for arc-second resolution);
- Fine attitude knowledge and control for precision pointing (less than 1/1000th of a degree);
- Solar arrays and batteries to generate and store electricity; and,
- A computer and electronics that can tolerate the harsh environment of space.