AstroForge will test its asteroid metal refining technology this year

Asteroid mining startup AstroForge It is trying to do something that no other company has been able to do so far, and for this purpose, it will go to space twice this year. This startup plans to Materials Mineral To find the precious thing in the depths of space.

Last year, AstroForge was said to be planning a demonstration mission in 2023, and now the startup has released more details about its mission. Also, another mission has been announced for the end of the year that will take the company to an asteroid for observation.

AstroForge startup

The process of extracting minerals from asteroids

The first mission will be launched in April with SpaceX’s Transporter-7 shared launch. The mission will use a 6U CubeSat satellite, developed by space technology company OrbAstro, loaded with asteroid-like material to test AstroForge’s refining and mining capabilities in space.

In a second mission, AstroForge will travel deep into space to collect data on the asteroid’s surface, which the company hopes to mine later this decade.

CEO Matt Galich told TechCrunch in an interview:

“We have to find a way to extract the regolith from the asteroid and process it in our refinery, and we believe we have solved this problem for our target asteroid.”

Minerals of asteroids

He went on to explain that he is working with academic advisors, NASA and the nonprofit Planetary Science Research Institute to identify the most promising asteroids for exploitation. The company also recently published a paper with the Colorado School of Mines that assessed metals in asteroids that could be mined and sold as commodities on Earth (or used in space).

The paper also notes that “the texture of metal-rich asteroid surfaces should be investigated,” and Djalic confirmed that their second mission will be to study the surface of the target asteroid using high-resolution images.

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