New Delhi: NASA is soon going to conduct a study on a big asteroid called 16 Psyche –the cosmic riches of which could make fortunes of all the people living on Earth.
Experts have claimed that the precious metals in the asteroid could be worth $10,000 quadrillion –an amount that can technically make every person on the earth a billionaire (in dollar terms).
Rich in gold and other precious metals, the 16 Psyche is situated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and measures some 200 km (130 miles).
NASA had in February this year released a video on the Psyche Mission.
A Wall Street research firm Bernstein had previously noted that the asteroid 16 Psyche may contain 17 million billion tones of nickel-iron – enough to satisfy mankind’s current demand for millions of years, as reported by Reuters.
NASA spacecraft to study asteroid 16 Psyche is reported to have recently passed its “critical design” phase.
“The mission is led by Arizona State University. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is responsible for mission management, operations and navigation. The spacecraft’s solar-electric propulsion chassis will be built by Maxar (formerly SSL) with a payload that includes an imager, magnetometer, and a gamma-ray spectrometer,” a NASA statement said.
NASA has given following timeline for its mission and events
Solar electric cruise: 3.5 years
Arrival at (16) Psyche: 2026
Observation Period: 21 months in orbit, mapping and studying Psyche’s properties
2022 – Launch of Psyche spacecraft from Kennedy Space Center, Florida
2023 – Mars Flyby of Psyche spacecraft
2026 – Psyche spacecraft arrives in asteroid’s orbit
2026-2027 – Psyche spacecraft orbits the Psyche asteroid
The scientific goal of the study, NASA said, is to understand a previously unexplored building block of planet formation: iron cores and explore a new type of world. For the first time, NASA said, it aims to examine a world made not of rock and ice, but metal.