BBC News

Scottish firm unveils plans for asteroid mining mission

Published
image copyrightAMC
image captionAsteroid Prospecting Satellite One will scan near-Earth asteroids to determine if they are "viable candidates" for mining

A Scottish aerospace company has unveiled plans to launch the UK's first asteroid mining mission.

Asteroid Mining Corporation (AMC) is seeking £2.3m to build a satellite capable of identifying platinum-group metal deposits on near-Earth asteroids.

It hopes to launch the Asteroid Prospecting Satellite One (APS1) in 2020.

APS1 will be used to conduct a spectral scan of asteroids to determine if they are "viable candidates" for mining.

The company, which was founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Mitch Hunter-Scullion, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fund the project.

image copyrightAMC
image captionThe company hopes to launch the satellite in 2020

Mr Hunter-Scullion's company has calculated that a single metallic asteroid of 25m in diameter contains about 29 tonnes of platinum worth about £725m.

He said: "Our goal is to develop ground-breaking 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.

"The APS1 will be a spectroscope space telescope which will gather data on target asteroids and will act as a test for some of our technologies which we will scale up later for actual mining missions."

image copyrightAMC
image captionMr Hunter-Scullion set up AMC in 2016 after completing a dissertation on asteroid mining

Mr Hunter-Scullion founded AMC after completing a dissertation on asteroid mining at Liverpool Hope University.

He said: "Whilst researching for it, I realised that there were few companies that have been set up with the intentions of mining an asteroid, with none being in the UK.

"It was a topic that fascinated me and when I finished university I decided to set up AMC and begin working on developing technology which will open up the possibilities of an off-Earth commercial market."

Related Topics

  • Mining
  • Asteroids

More on this story

  • The 22-year-old running UK's only asteroid mining business