Planetary Resources has officially revealed its plans now, at an event in the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Couched in some hugely positive language, Peter Diamandis and other team members revealed that they’re building a fleet of vehicles to achieve their goal—with the first launch planned for just 24 months (a hugely ambitious timeframe). The Arkyd 100 series will be Earth-orbit commercial space telescopes to begin the “prospecting” job of spotting near-Earth asteroids that are likely candidates. The Arkyd 200 series will extend this mission out of low orbit, and the Arkyd 300 series will survey asteroids up close. Their asteroid capturing plan seems manyfold, with some larger asteroids perhaps being strip-mined, other smaller ones captured in a shroud and sent back for processing.
The goal is to boost the economy of Earth by bringing the “solar system within the economic sphere of influence” of us down here, and also to protect Earth’s precious resources.