Scientists recently discovered that an asteroid that that is made of metallic materials floating within Earth’s vicinity may be worth a whopping US$11.65 trillion.
This is like a giant ball of precious metal that could be useful on Earth especially with the development of iron, nickel, and cobalt.
The deposit is said to be much more abundant than all the global metals on Earth. The names of the celestial objects are called 1986 DA and 2016 ED85 both of which are commonly known as metal-rich near-Earth asteroids discovered with a large mineral deposit that measure over a mile wide.
The duo “could be possible targets for asteroid mining in the future,” according to the new analysis published Friday in The Planetary Science Journal.
The thoughts of space mining continue to gain more traction among scientists and also in the space community as more private institutions are joining the space race.
One of the reasons for this is because scientists are of the opinion that asteroids like these can help future lunar or Mars-based colony which could ultimately extend the human species’ dominance across the Solar system.
Shipping metals from earth to create constructions on the Moon or Mars is definitely going to be a really expensive and tough task and instead, mining an asteroid can just be the best ways to go.
Further, the team behind the math suggests these unique floating orbs may shed much-needed light on the authenticity of another metallic treasure NASA is headed to in 2022 — the mysterious shiny space globe known as 16 Psyche.
16 Psyche has its own allure for space mining enthusiasts.
Instead of trees, oceans, or stretches of soil, the bizarre body is thought to consist of hills and valleys made of pure metal. Scientists contend it’s the remaining core of an ancient rocky planet that was once destroyed.
This looked really similar to Earth’s core which is also made of such mineral resources except that it’s very hot and dense.
Interestingly, Earth’s covered-up core looks awfully similar.
The 16 Psyche is a hot topic among scientists and the general public with the celestial object estimated to be worth over US$10,000 quadrillion.
That is a ton of cash that definitely doesn’t exist yet on Earth. Even though the valuation is still in doubt due to the fact that scientists are yet to inspect the space object using a spacecraft in order to verify its mineral composition.
It is when such an examination is carried out that scientists can be really sure if it’s worth so much.
The mission is said to already be on NASA’s radar.
“It is rewarding that we have discovered these ‘mini Psyches’ so close to the Earth,” Vishnu Reddy, associate professor at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and principal investigator of the NASA grant that funded the work, said in a statement.
The future of space mining is definitely close by and these discoveries further fuel our sci-fi fantasies especially considering future celestial colonies and other interesting stories that we’ll hear.