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Space & Astronomy

NASA launches mission to visit a $10,000 quadrillion asteroid

By T.K. Randall
October 15, 2023 · Comment icon 14 comments
Asteroid 16 Psyche.
Psyche is an extremely valuable asteroid. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU
The space agency's Psyche spacecraft will be the first ever to attempt to directly visit a metal asteroid.
Named after a figure in Greek mythology who achieved immortality, 16 Psyche, which is almost entirely composed of nickel-iron metal, is worth so much money that its value would completely dwarf the meager $78 trillion of all the world's economies combined.

Measuring around 240km across, it is situated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and is believed to be the exposed iron core of a protoplanet left over from the early solar system.

NASA's Psyche mission, which launched on October 13th, will take 6 years to reach the asteroid which is located at a distance of 2 billion miles away from the Earth.
Scientists are hoping that the mission will teach us more about the formation of planets.

"It's long been humans' dream to go to the metal core of our Earth. I mean, ask [author] Jules Verne," said mission lead scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University.

"The pressure is too high. The temperature is too high. The technology is impossible. But there's one way in our solar system that we can look at a metal core and that is by going to this asteroid."

In addition to the scientific benefits, visiting such a valuable asteroid could represent a step toward mining precious materials from asteroids like this one in the not-too-distant future.

Source: Sky News | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 months ago
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 months ago
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 months ago
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 months ago
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 months ago
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 months ago
Comment icon #11 Posted by Shadowsfall 5 months ago
What’s it feel like to have a NASA mission named after you my friend ….wasn’t aware you were on first name terms with Mr Musk??
Comment icon #12 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 5 months ago
Comment icon #13 Posted by Cho Jinn 5 months ago
10% of $10,000 quadrillion is...(pulls out TI-85)....1,000 quadrillion dollars.  But do we have a bag man? 
Comment icon #14 Posted by psyche101 4 months ago
I was impressed that they named an asteroid after me. Now an entire mission!  

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