The enormous value of NASA’s $10,000,000,000,000,000,000 asteroid has generated a lot of discussion.

And with that enormous amount of money involved, why wouldn’t there be?

The space station declared over the summer that it was going to launch a mission to the distant asteroid known as 16 Psyche, which is rumored to be rich in valuable metals including gold, iron, and nickel.

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NASA plans to acquire 16 Psyche in order to learn more about planetary cores and planet formation, even if the asteroid’s components are worth an incredible sum of money.

On October 13, the eagerly anticipated expedition formally got underway when a rocket started climbing to reach the asteroid, which is situated in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, at a distance of 2.2 billion miles (3.5 billion kilometers).

Furthermore, it is anticipated that the rocket will not arrive at its destination until July 2029 because to the extremely large distance that the SpaceX vehicle must travel.

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Additionally, it has been stated that in May 2026, when the ship passes Mars, it would experience a slight acceleration.

Nine metal-rich asteroids are known to exist in our solar system, but NASA selected 16 Psyche because it is the largest.

Though it is metallic, it is still unclear what kind of metal Psyche is composed of. Psyche is classified as a M-type asteroid.

According to Vishnu Reddy, a professor at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, “metal unfortunately doesn’t have a unique spectral fingerprint,” was informed.

“You can tell that something’s metallic, but you can’t specifically tell which metal it is.”

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Many scientists assume that Psyche’s surface is primarily composed of iron and nickel, components typically found in asteroids, even if scientists may not have definitive answers.

Furthermore, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory named Wendy Caldwell has conjectured—though she notes that this is conjecture—that the asteroid may be composed of monel, a combination of nickel and copper, based on computer simulations.

But whatever material Psyche is composed of, the quantity of metal is extremely valuable, which accounts for its exorbitant cost.

There are presently no plans to mine Psyche, primarily because the necessary technology is not readily available at this time.

Nevertheless, some businesses have started to develop strategies for mining asteroids because large asteroids with potentially valuable metals are circling around in space.

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A planetary physicist at the University of Central Florida named Philip Metzger believes that mining asteroids ‘will be a genuine thing’ and ‘profitable’.

It’s previously been suggested that everyone on Earth might become a billionaire from the metal that might be mined on Psyche alone.

Furthermore, Metzger thinks that ‘within decades’, asteroid mining technology might be developed, indicating that Psyche and other asteroids will probably be the first to be targeted.


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