Its economic value is several dozen times higher than that of our planet Earth. That, of course, if one day we manage to monetize all the wealth that scientists estimate it houses.
The asteroid Psyche 16, discovered in 1852, it measures 226 kilometers in diameter and is located at 370 million kilometers from our home.
Recently, a new study used the Hubble Space Telescope to obtain a more detailed image of one of the most valuable asteroids that we know of.
This asteroid is in the sights of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which next to Space X, the company of billionaire Elon Musk, plan an exploration mission for the year 2022.
But what is it that makes this asteroid be so valuable?
It is a giant rock found within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Various observations indicate that Psyche is made mainly of metals and it is thought that it was part of the nucleus of a planet that failed in its formation.
If so, this could give us more information about how the Earth’s nucleus and that of other planets formed.
“We have seen other meteorites that are mostly metallic, but what makes Psyche unique is that it may be made entirely of iron and nickel ”, says Tracy Becker, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Texas.
Becker is part of the most recent investigation of the surface of Psyche.
Some estimates indicate that the total economic value of all Psyche metals could exceed $ 10,000 quadrillion.
Taking into account that the value of the global economy in 2019 was $ 142 billion According to the German data portal Statista, Psyche minerals arguably are worth about 70,000 times more.
Not surprisingly, Psyche is also known as “the golden asteroid.”
The study by Becker and his colleagues comes amid NASA preparations to travel and better understand its origin and characteristics.
“What makes Psyche and other asteroids so interesting is that they are considered the formation rocks of the solar system. When we get there, we will understand if this is so, and if not, it will be just as exciting, ”says Becker.
If everything goes according to plan Space X and NASA to launch in 2022 a scout ship that would reach the asteroid in 2026.
This will be the first mission in which NASA will investigate a metallic mass rather than one made up of rocks and ice.
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