5 Top Space Mining Companies

These companies design satellites, robotics and other advanced technologies intended to make space mining possible.

Written by Margo Steines
Published on Jun. 29, 2023
5 Top Space Mining Companies
Photo: Shutterstock

Space mining involves scouting asteroids and other objects beyond Earth’s atmosphere that are rich in useful resources, and deploying machinery to extract those materials. Though the industry is still in its early stages, startups have been emerging to design the satellites, robotics and other advanced technologies needed to make excavating raw materials in space possible. Here’s a look at some top space mining companies seeking out new approaches to exploring outer space.

Top Space Mining Companies

  • Karman+
  • TransAstra
  • AstroForge
  • Origin Space
  • Asteroid Mining Corporation

 

Space Mining Companies to Know

Founded: 2022

Headquarters: Denver, Colorado

Named for the groundbreaking astrodynamics expert who articulated the boundary between our atmosphere and outer space, Karman+ is developing technology for mining water from near-Earth asteroids. Using a meta-survey of solar system object observations and statistical inference techniques, the company has made a model of the more than 1 million near-Earth asteroids that can potentially be mined in the future.

 

Founded: 2015

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

TransAstra’s space mining technology relies on a technique known as optical mining, which concentrates light from the sun to pull propellant biomasses from space objects like asteroids, moons and the surfaces of planets. This extraction is intended to enable large-scale harvesting of water, as well as materials for rocket propulsion — both of which will make space industry and deep space exploration more feasible and less of a burden on Earth’s resources. 

 

Founded: 2022

Headquarters: Huntington Beach, California

AstroForge aims to mine asteroids for minerals we can use on Earth, with a lower carbon footprint than traditional Earth-based mining. The company announced it has already secured funding for two space missions in 2023 — a demonstration flight to test the company’s tech followed, by a mission to observe a target asteroid as preparation for a subsequent mineral extraction mission.

Keep ReadingWhat Is Aerospace? Aerospace Industry & Engineering.

 

Founded: 2019

Headquarters: Nanjing, China

Origin Space’s founder and CEO Meng Su is the recipient of prestigious accolades in astrophysics, and was among the researchers who discovered giant bubbles soaring over the Milky Way. His company has built a robot for space garbage removal and asteroid mining, a lunar rover that can perform elemental detection and collect samples for mining tech, and a commercial space telescope satellite. 

 

Founded: 2016

Headquarters: London, England

Asteroid Mining Corporation is working on robots called Space Capable Asteroid Robotic Explorers (SCAR-E) designed to drill into asteroids, process what they extract on-site in space and then send the materials to Earth via commercial spacecraft. The company says it plans to launch a microsatellite space telescope that will carry scanning instruments into low Earth orbit in 2025. The telescope is expected to home in on potential sites for mining precious metals and water.

Rose Velazquez contributed reporting to this story.

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