Honeybee has completed development and testing of on a new space dirt and regolith sampling system, PlanetVac. With the support from the international space exploration non-profit The Planetary Society, Honeybee was able to build the functional prototype and test it in Mars conditions in our on-site vacuum chamber.
The PlanetVac system is designed for use on Mars, the Moon, or asteroids, as a low-cost and more reliable alternative to traditional sampling systems. Honeybee developed the initial concept in 2002, but only now with the help of The Planetary Society is it being built. The functional prototype under development is designed to enable rapid and reliable sample acquisition for in-situ analysis on a spacecraft or for a sample return mission.
Honeybee greatly appreciates the support of The Planetary Society and its worldwide members, who rallied to support the innovative project with a development grant of $30,000.