ICYMI: Prospector Demonstration Video

At work, Bill Bolton has been working on a movie of our Prospector demonstration (with enough annotations and captions to understand what is going on). I’ll be doing a more detailed blog post on the Altius Space Machines website sometime this week, but wanted to provide this for those who don’t follow me on twitter.

The music for this was done by Kevin MacLeod of incompetech.com. Kevin has done a lot of music pieces for Kerbal Space Program, and offered to do us a custom piece for free since he thought what we were doing was so cool. As he put it, the music gets a bit epic near the end, “But you’re picking a freaking boulder up off an asteroid–it should be epic!”

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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4 Responses to ICYMI: Prospector Demonstration Video

  1. ken anthony says:

    It seems you are depending on the boulder not being crumbly?

    I’d bag it.

  2. Jonathan Goff Jonathan Goff says:

    Actually the design was intentionally focused on dealing with the most crumbly boulders NASA predicted were likely.


  3. john hare says:

    Just vacuum up enough dust for the mass required. 🙂 There actually was a suggestion somewhere that a sealed perimeter and a gas nozzle seemed an effective way to gather Lunar regolith. I can’t remember any particulars other than it seemed like there was a major leverage in material gathered vs gas lost through the seals as the pressure was very low, fractions of a psi. If the gas was in situ, and the concept works, it would seem ideal for a dusty asteroid.

  4. John,
    Kris Zacny of Honeybee Robotics has led a lot of work on a concept like that. There was a Japanese group that had proposed the idea about 20yrs ago (I remember reading about it in a ASCE SPACE conference when I was still an undergrad at BYU). I might have blogged about it at some point. I think Honeybee got a little money to study that under the ARM BAA contract they did with MDA as a prime. We also looked at another approach that used purely electrodynamic forces to extract regolith, but that got downscoped from our contract before we could try it in the lab. Probably wouldn’t get anywhere near the pumping rates they would, but it didn’t require any consumables.


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