NASA lately made an announcement regarding its trip date to an asteroid dubbed 16 Psyche, which could cost up to a quadrillion dollars!
The reason that makes this space rock so expensive is that it comprises huge chunks of pricey metals like platinum, gold, nickel and iron. So far, 16 Psyche is the biggest iron metal body discovered in the asteroid belt by astronomers.
The unique metal asteroid orbits Sun between Mars and Jupiter. What makes NASA interested in this space rock is that it can help astronomers in understanding one of the most ancient eras in the solar system's history.
Estimated to contain $10,000 quadrillion worth of iron alone, if we could somehow mine 16 Psyche's minerals and bring them back to Earth, it would collapse our comparatively puny global economy of $78 trillion many times over.
NASA expects to reach at the asteroid belt where the space rock is located in 2026, Phys.org revealed.
NASA's Discovery mission is likely to be launch in 2021 or 2023. The Lucy mission -- to study Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter -- will be launched first in 2021. It will be followed by the Psyche mission in 2023.
One of the ten most massive asteroids in the asteroid belt, 16 Psyche, is over 200 km (120 mi) in diameter and contains a little less than one percent of the mass of the asteroid belt. Ceres is the largest asteroid in the belt, which possesses a diameter of 945 km (587 miles).
Psyche is definitely worth more than its weight in gold. If NASA succeeds in its mission, the asteroid will give humans their first ever chance of exploring a world made of iron, claims the lead scientist on the NASA mission, Lindy Elkins-Tanton.