As the headline implies, Elon Musk has made the decision to collaborate with NASA for a unique mission: exploring an enormous asteroid composed of some of the most valuable metals known to humanity.
Indeed, SpaceX and NASA have formed a partnership with the aim of launching an unmanned spacecraft to 16 Psyche as early as the summer of 2022.
This is no ordinary asteroid, as indicated by the title, as it is believed to be an immense accumulation of platinum, iron, and nickel, with an estimated value of £8,000-quadrillion.
Although this figure may not appear significant at first, it’s important to note that the global economy is approximately £59.5 trillion. The value of 16 Psyche’s metals alone could potentially disrupt and destabilize the entire economic system overnight. Additionally, Psyche spans about 120 miles in width.
However, it’s worth mentioning that NASA and Elon Musk are not intending to extract and mine the asteroid initially.
Setting aside the economic implications for a moment, even if mining were deemed feasible, the cost of bringing the metals back to Earth would likely exceed their value. It would essentially be a situation where the expenses would match or surpass the gains.
Instead, NASA’s primary objective is to study the composition of the asteroid and gain a better understanding of its origin. They also aim to determine if there is a possibility of the asteroid breaking free from its current orbit and posing a potential threat to Earth.