The AstroForge company will start its first space mining missions this year with 2 precursor tasks in this industry. The American startup wants to melt metal in weightless conditions to collect it and bring it back to Earth, opening a field in which agencies such as NASA have already given interest.
Space mining fever
AstroForge’s roadmap consists of 2 missions in 2023. In April, the company will launch Brokkr, the first of its ships, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Its goal is simple: it wants to reach low orbit to see if it can refine platinum in zero-gravity conditions.
If it succeeds, it will open the second chapter of 2023. By October, Brokkkr-2 will search for an asteroid with precious metals to orbit it and scan its resources to exploit. After that, already in 2024, it will test a landing mission on space rocks with the Brokkr-3. By 2025, the fourth mission will be key momentum: it will land, collect ore, and refine it in the same space to bring it to Earth.
A viable candidate to be chosen
Space is full of asteroids rich in different materials, but AstroForge has not yet communicated which one the mission will be carried out on. The company is working with NASA and the Planetary Science Institute precisely to identify a viable candidate for these missions. For the moment, I already had a clue: it is an asteroid closer to Earth than those in the Belt between Mars and Jupiter.