NASA wants to explore the asteroid. It is worth more than the world economy
NASA has announced that it intends to resume its mission to study the asteroid 16 Psyche. Scientists believe that space rock is a source of iron, nickel and gold with an estimated value of $ 10 quadrillion. It is about 70 thousand. times more than the value of the entire global economy.
Of course NASA he does not intend to extract these metals, but to investigate their origin. Experts suspect that asteroid 16 Psyche may be an orbiting splinter of the planet’s former core. They base their assumptions on the fact that its composition is somewhat similar to the core of the Earth.
An asteroid more valuable than global resources
Asteroid 16 Psyche moves in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The object was discovered as early as 1852 by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gaspararishowever, only recently have scientists been able to get a closer look at it thanks to photos from Hubble Telescope.
“Rzeczpospolita”, which she described observations of 16 Psyche two years ago, she pointed out that “if the inhabitants of the Earth could sell this asteroid and share the profits, every human would become a billionaire.” The object has a diameter of 225 km and – unlike similar celestial bodies – it is not made of rock and ice. As Rzeczpospolita noted, the asteroid consists of elements that are used, among others, by in the automotive industry, medicine and in the production of electronics.
NASA continues its mission
To study the asteroid 16 Psyche, NASA planned to launch a special probe in August 2022. However, problems with the spacecraft’s software made it the mission has been suspended indefinitelyAccording to a recent press release from the agency, the rocket is scheduled to launch on October 10, 2023 SpaceX Falcon Heavy. It is she who will launch a device into space that is to examine the “precious” asteroid.
Although the new launch date is only slightly over a year behind, the expected arrival of the 16 Psyche is more than three years later than expected (2029 instead of the originally planned 2026). It has to do with the moment it bursts into the gravitational field of Mars, which must be intercepted by the probe.
At the end of its journey, the NASA device will circle the asteroid and study it with a range of instruments. In this way, scientists hope to determine if the object is indeed part of the planet’s former core. If so, it may prove to be an invaluable opportunity to better understand the interior of planets such as Earth.
Adam Gaafar, journalist for Wirtualna Polska
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