Looking for some extra cash during the pandemic?
All you have to do is go for a 230 million mile jaunt to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and the protoplanet is yours for the taking.
“16 Psyche”, an asteroid discovered on March 17, 1852, by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis, is said to be worth as much as $10,000 quadrillion—according to experts. According to a new study, the rock could be almost entirely comprised of iron and nickel. If that is the case, its astronomical value is justified.
To put the $10,000 quadrillion valuation in perspective: according to data from the World Economic Forum, the GDP for the entire planet was $114.4 trillion in 2018.
It is believed to be the leftover core of a planet that started to form and failed.
Dr. Tracy Becker, the lead author of a new study on the asteroid, explained the likely origins of the asteroid: “We’ve seen meteorites that are mostly metal, but Psyche could be unique in that it might be an asteroid that is totally made of iron and nickel… Earth has a metal core, a mantle and crust. It’s possible that as a Psyche protoplanet was forming, it was struck by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust.”
As one of the largest non-planet objects in the asteroid belt—at a Death Star-like 140-miles in diameter—observing the asteroid could answer many unanswered questions about the formation of the Solar System.
NASA hopes to get those answers. The space agency plans to launch a mission to visit 16 Psyche in August 2022 and arriving in early 2026.
If Elon Musk decides to send a rocket to Psyche next year, I’ll be the first in line for a ticket. It’s a small price to pay for the greatest lotto winnings in the solar system.
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Source: Fox News