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AstroForge aims to succeed where other asteroid mining companies have failed

Can AstroForge succeed where other space mining companies have failed?

Enlarge / Can AstroForge succeed where other space mining companies have failed? (credit: AstroForge)

Asteroid mining was all the rage nearly a decade ago. In 2012 several billionaire entrepreneurs founded a company called Planetary Resources with the goal of harvesting water from asteroids and selling it as propellant at in-space fuel depots. A year later, another group of investors founded Deep Space Industries to harvest rare metals from asteroids.

While it seemed like the era of space mining had dawned, these commercial efforts were soon eclipsed by a harsh reality—by 2019 both companies effectively no longer existed. Neither could overcome the significant obstacles of building spacecraft capable of traveling into deep space, let alone examining asteroids and mining them for materials. Beyond the technical challenges, each of these projects also required a huge outlay of funding ahead of any profit that lay years, if not decades, into the future.

Now, a new challenger, AstroForge, has entered the arena with the goal of mining platinum on asteroids and selling it on Earth. The founders of the company, Jose Acain and Matt Gialich, said in an interview they were well aware of the challenges of deep space mining when starting AstroForge earlier this year.

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