After two major players aiming at asteroid mining (not just the Moon) were bought up and repurposed, who still does follow this topic as primary business model?

  • Deep Space Industries was bought by Bradford Space (a propulsion systems supplier)
  • Planetary Resources became part of a “blockchain venture production studio" (wtf?! but well okay maybe they are up to an ICO..)

http://theavion.com/opinion-state-of-the-space-mining-industry/ (by this article, the answer is 0 but I know at least one another startup from UK aiming to do so, the Asteroid Mining Corporation (AMC) from Liverpool)

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    $\begingroup$ Your edit helps a lot! I've added just one additional word "business" → "business model". $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 21 '19 at 0:27

For a company to "specialize in" something it must actually engage in that something. Currently there is no company that is mining any asteroids and therefore there are no companies that "specialize in asteroid mining".

There might be a different question that you could ask along the lines of "Which companies are planning to engage in asteroid mining and are raising funds for such an endeavour?" but that is distinct from the question you asked. (Also, to put things into perspective: the current OSIRIS-REx mission is planning to bring back 60 g of material from an asteroid called Bennu http://www.asteroidmission.org/qa/ The mission cost is an estimated \$1,000,000,000. The current price of 60 g of platinum is around \$1,500.)

  • $\begingroup$ Regarding your parenthetical note at the end, the immediate benefit of asteroid mining is for use in space. You send up a mining mission, which may have a large price tag up front, but then the resources mined can be used to construct things in space rather than launch them up, which is a huge savings. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Feb 20 '19 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage That makes more sense! My parenthetical remark was in particular with respect to the company that is mentioned in the original question. Their stated goals are "Once we have a better understanding of the composition of the Asteroids we will focus on NEAs containing high concentrations of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs)". This particular company makes no mention of using the mined materials in space but is focused on bringing precious metals like platinum (or gold) back to Earth. $\endgroup$ – user2705196 Feb 20 '19 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, obviously that wouldn't be immediately profitable, but if you already had a thriving asteroid mining industry, you might be able to effectively mine stuff for Earth. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Feb 20 '19 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ The question title asks about specialization in research on asteroid mining, and the text mentions "aiming to do so", so I wonder if the first sentence's lecture on lexical semantics is really helpful? I've made a one-word edit to the question "business" → "business model" to make the OP's intent even clearer. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 21 '19 at 0:27

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