There is a giant metallic asteroid that is worth $10,000 quadrillion floating in space right now. Discovered in March 17th 1852 by an Italian astronomer, Annibale de Gasparis, the asteroid is called 16 Psyche – derived from Greek mythological God Psyche who represents the spirits.
16 Psyche is one of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and is classified as metallic M-class asteroid. Researchers believe 16 Psyche to be the part of ancient planet (perhaps as large as Mars) that had lost its outer core through a series of celestial collisions.
Based on multi-analyses, researchers have determined the asteroid contains iron, nickel, gold, platinum, copper and other precious metals. Right now, NASA has teamed up Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) for “Psyche Mission – a journey to a metal asteroid” and is expecting to launch the mission’s spacecraft as early as 2023. According to Arizona State University, the spacecraft will reach 16 Psyche in 2030, where it will spend 20 months in orbit, mapping it and studying its properties. NASA hopes the mission will help researchers examine the inside of a planet and hopefully learn how ones such as ours are formed.
While there is no plan to bring the asteroid back to earth, or the technology to mine it, Psyche Mission’s principal investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton estimates 16 Psyche’s iron alone to be worth $10,000 quadrillion. Whoa, that’s a lot of money! I mean it could literally solve the world’s debt of close to $60 trillion.
Video: Beyond Science