A SCOTTISH aerospace company has announced plans for the UK’s first space mining mission, with the aim of extracting and processing materials such as platinum from asteroids.
Asteroid Mining Corporation, (AMC) founded by Mitch Hunter-Scullion, is working alongside academic partners to develop the Asteroid Prospecting Satellite One (APS1) in an attempt to identify platinum group metals deposits on Near-Earth asteroids.
The company has received support from the publicly funded Business Gateway and plans to build the APS1, above, in Glasgow at a cost of £2.3 million, creating seven new jobs in the city’s thriving Space industry. Hunter-Scullion, pictured, and his team have calculated that a single metallic asteroid of 25 metres in diameter contains approximately 29 tonnes of platinum worth around £725m.
In 2020, AMC intend to unlock this economic potential by launching APS1 to conduct a spectral scan of Near-Earth asteroids in order to determine which contain the highest concentrations of platinum and which will be viable candidates for mining.
Hunter-Scullion said: “Our goal is to develop groundbreaking technology that will eventually enable the extraction, processing and use of materials derived from the many millions of asteroids known to exist near Earth. The APS1 will be our first step to achieving this success.