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Startup looking to mine asteroids books a ride on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX Falcon 9. (Source: SpaceX)
SpaceX Falcon 9. (Source: SpaceX)
AstroForge, a California-based asteroid-mining startup, has secured seats aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the company's maiden space mission. The mission is meant to be a demonstration and is scheduled for next year.

AstroForge, a Y Combinator startup, has secured a seat on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a ridesharing basis after closing a seed funding round worth US$13 million. The flight aboard a Falcon 9 which is scheduled for next year, is the first of two space missions that AstroForge is eyeing up. Per TweakTown and TechCrunch, this initial mission will be a demonstration for which the company has partnered with OrbAstro to build a satellite.

AstroForge was founded by two ex-NASA, SpaceX, and Virgin Orbit employees. The company is looking to exploit small asteroids, ranging from 20 m (65.6 ft) to 1.5 Km (0.93 miles) in diameter, that are rich in Plutonium group metals like rhodium in the near-Earth orbit.

While we don’t know exactly how the startup will mine asteroids that small, AstroForge has hinted that the technology it is developing will use a high-rated vacuum in zero gravity and not require landing on the asteroid. The company has already shortlisted close to a million possible asteroids.

Despite the countless challenges associated with mining asteroids, AstroForge is hopeful that it will start mining before the decade ends.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 05 > Startup looking to mine asteroids books a ride on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
Fawad Murtaza, 2022-05-29 (Update: 2022-05-29)