In the race for space metals, companies hope to cash in

Enlarge / An illustration depicts a NASA spacecraft approaching the metal-rich asteroid Psyche. Though there are no plans to mine Psyche, such asteroids are being eyed for their valuable resourcesNASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

In April 2023, a satellite the size of a microwave launched to space. Its goal: to get ready to mine asteroids. While the mission, courtesy of a company called AstroForge, ran into problems, it’s part of a new wave of would-be asteroid miners hoping to cash in on cosmic resources.

Potential applications of space-mined material abound: Asteroids contain metals like platinum and cobalt, which are used in electronics and electric vehicle

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