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NASA Schedules New Mission To Psyche Asteroid That Is Worth Quadrillion Of Dollars; Asteroid Could Collapse The Global Economy

First Posted: May 26, 2017 05:36 AM EDT
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The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced its trip date for an asteroid that could cost "quadrillions" of dollars in the future. The asteroid is called 16 Psyche. It is a massive chunk of precious metals that include platinum, gold as well as iron and nickel, which is why it would be very expensive.

According to Science Alert, the 16 Psyche asteroid contains $10,000 quadrillion of iron alone. If NASA could find a way to mine the minerals of the asteroid and bring these back to Earth, it would collapse the global economy of $78 trillion times over. But for the sake of the economic stability of the world, NASA only plans on looking and not extracting.

The 16 Psyche asteroid orbits the Sun between the planets Mars and Jupiter. NASA holds great scientific interest in it because it also holds clues to one of the earliest eras in the history of the solar system. With the agency's mission, NASA might discover something about 10 million years after the birth of the Sun.

According to Phys.org, NASA is planning to launch the discovery mission in the year 2021 or 2023. The Lucy mission is selected for the first launch opportunity in 2021 and Psyche mission is to follow in 2023. NASA is expecting the arrival at the main asteroid belt where the space rock is located in 2026.

The asteroid 16 Psyche measures 240 km (149 miles) in diameter. It is nowhere near as large as some other known asteroids in the asteroid belt. The largest asteroid in the belt is Ceres and it has 945 km (587 miles). But Psyche is by far the largest exposed iron metal body in the asteroid belt.

The lead scientist on the NASA mission, Lindy Elkins-Tanton, claimed that Psyche is definitely worth more than its weight in gold. If NASA would succeed in its mission, the asteroid will give humans their first ever chance of exploring a world made of iron.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

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