NASA and It’s Plans to Explore 16 Psyche, a Mostly Metal Asteroid
Once you read on, it will be no big surprise that I happened on this via one of my feeds at mining.com. This large chunk of metal is worth a fortune. The asteroid is called 16 Psyche originally discovered in 1852. Unlike most asteroids which are mainly ice and rock, this one is mostly nickel and iron.
In fact, so much valuable metal that it is worth about 10,000 quadrillion dollars ($10,000,000,000,000,000,000). The article also states that the world economy for 2019 was 142 trillion dollars ($142,000,000,000,000) and if we distributed the worth of the metal chunk to each person on our planet each of us would have about 1.2 billion dollars ($1,800,000,000).
NASA, of course, is very interested in a closer look at this rare space rock. Not only because of what we can mine but because of what we can learn about this unique almost entirely metal asteroid. The theory is that it is the remnant of a malformed planet’s core from the past.
NASA plans on launch a Psyche mission on 1 August of this year. This probe will examine the asteroid in more detail and attempt to determine if our current theory is correct. NASA is also going to test out a new method of space communication on this mission. The Deep Space Optical Communication system, or DSOC, will use a near-infrared laser to communicate more data in a given amount of time than current methods of communication.
Of course, the reality is that if we ever did melt the thing down, it would not make all of us rich. More likely it would go the route of aluminum after the discovery of beryllium recycling. The top of the Washington Monument is aluminum because, at the start of its construction, aluminum was a semi-precious metal. Before the monument was complete, the price dropped to a fraction of what it was before due to the new recycling method. That is why we see aluminum everywhere today. So, in the long run, it would drive nickel and iron down… not a bad thing at all.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment, and have a great day.