Asteroids are not always scary. Some of them may even provide a huge help to Earth, and humanity for intellectual progress. NASA's next mission is to get to this enormous asteroid, which they say contains quadrillions of dollars worth of metals!
The asteroid 16 Psyche is now included in NASA's list. It is located in the enormous rock belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Based from theories, Psyche may have started out as a planet that had extreme collisions during the formation of the solar system. This resulted in outer layers of rock blasted away, revealing a core similar to Earth’s.
Researchers say, Psyche may be made of iron, nickel and a number of other rare metals like gold, platinum, copper, cobalt, iridium and rhenium. These humongous amounts of metal may be worth over quadrillions! Experts have calculated that the iron alone would be worth US $10,000 quadrillion.
“Even we could grab a big metal piece and drag it back here … what would you do? Could you kind of sit on it and hide it and control the global resource — kind of like diamonds are controlled corporately — and protect your market? What if you decided you were going to bring it back and you were just going to solve the metal resource problems of humankind for all time? This is wild speculation obviously,” Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the lead scientist on the NASA mission and the director of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration told the Global News
Apparently, bringing home massive amounts of metal is not the goal. According to NASA, they see the asteroid as a potential stop over when humanity explores the deeper galaxy.
Experts say, the spacecraft to Psyche will launch by 2023. It will observe the asteroid and report back.
Elkins-Tanton said that the asteroid may also contain water similar to Earth, which humans can use during galactic journeys.
"That water can be used to make rocket fuel or be drunk by people, so then we’d have a resource stop that has metal and water,” Elkins-Tanton noted.