The Asteroid-Mining Renaissance Has Arrived

Source: The Atlantic
by Sara Scoles

“In April 2023, a satellite the size of a microwave launched into space. Its goal: to get ready to mine asteroids. Although the mission, backed by a company called AstroForge, ran into problems, it’s part of a new wave of activity by would-be asteroid miners hoping to cash in on cosmic resources. Potential applications of space-mined material abound: Asteroids contain metals such as platinum and cobalt, which are used in electronics and electric-vehicle batteries, respectively. Although plenty of these materials exist on Earth, they can be more concentrated on asteroids than on mountainsides, making them easier to scrape out. And scraping in space, advocates say, could cut down on the damaging impacts of mining on this planet. Space-resource advocates also want to explore the potential of other substances.” (05/11/24)