The device would prospect for water, ice and resources on the moon and beyond.
A Canadian company has inked a $700,000 contract with the country’s Space Agency (CSA) contract to develop a multi-purpose device designed for space mining.
Northern Ontario-based Deltion Innovations Ltd will work on the combination drill and rotary multi-use tool, or what the firm describes as a “space-age Swiss Army knife”.
The project, part of the CSA’s space technology development program, has been given the acronym “PROMPT” (Percussive and Rotary Multi-Purpose Tool), Canadian Press reports.
The tool, which would be installed on the end of a robotic arm, is designed to drill into rock and other materials to capture a variety of samples.
Experts believe celestial bodies are packed with iron ore, nickel and precious metals at much higher concentrations than those found on Earth.One of the device’s main goals is to be able to drill mine for water and ice on the moon, and potentially other celestial bodies. It would also be used in robotic construction, maintenance and repair tasks.
Testing will be conducted at the company’s test facility in Capreol.
After being considered mostly a science-fiction tale, governments are now rushing to implement programs and legislations that allow them join the race for mining in the space.