California startup raises $13 million to mine platinum from asteroids

Asteroids have often been viewed as a source of water and fuel for future space bases. Several

companies announced plans in this direction, butlater abandoned the idea. AstroForge plans to focus on substances that are already in demand on Earth. The startup suggests using asteroids to mine platinum group metals.

As reported to the portal CEO Matt Gialich, AstroForge has developed and patented a material purification technology that it will use to extract platinum group metals from space rocks.

The developers plan to test theirtechnology in space as early as next year. To do this, AstroForge has booked space on the Falcon 9 spacecraft. The company will send a cubesat into orbit, which will extract platinum from a sample brought from Earth.

Detailed information about the technology of mining themselvesasteroids has not yet been publicly disclosed, but the co-founders of the company say that high-end vacuum and weightlessness are required for the technology to work. In addition, as Gialich stated, the company does not plan to land on asteroids. And for mining, they focus on small objects ranging in size from 20 m to 1.5 km.

Our real mission is to take out the mining of asteroidsfrom the realm of science fiction to the realm of reality. <…> We need to move fast, and we are willing to take more risks and move fast. We know that we will have setbacks along the way, and we are ready for them. This is how we learn.

Matt Gialich, CEO and co-founder of the company

It is noted that the co-founders of the startup earlierworked in space projects. AstroForge was founded in January 2022 by SpaceX alumnus Jose Acain and former NASA employee Matt Gialich.

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