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NASA Confirms Mission To Explore Asteroid That Could Make Everyone On Earth A Billionaire

 NASA is launching a mission to explore an asteroid worth a mind-boggling £8,000 quadrillion - enough to make everyone on Earth a billionaire.

The Psyche mission aims to survey the 140-mile-wide asteroid which orbits the Sun, in between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

The Psyche asteroid is metal-rich, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory saying it appears to be the "exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet."


"Deep within rocky, terrestrial planets - including Earth - scientists infer the presence of metallic cores, but these lie unreachably far below the planets' rocky mantles and crusts,” it says on its website.


“Because we cannot see or measure Earth's core directly, Psyche offers a unique window into the violent history of collisions and accretion that created terrestrial planets.”


The asteroid is composed of materials similar to those in the core of our own planet. Forbes reports that Psyche could contain a core of iron, nickel, and gold worth $10,000 quadrillion or 8,000 quadrillions in sterling.

This would dwarf the current global economy of around $74 trillion.

NASA's mission had been due to launch earlier this year, but "mission development problems" meant the space agency missed the scheduled launch period. This was followed by an internal review of "whether the mission would be able to overcome these issues to successfully launch" next year.

But NASA has confirmed the mission is still going forward and is aiming for a new launch period starting on October 10, 2023.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said: “I appreciate the hard work of the independent review board and the JPL-led team toward mission success.


“The lessons learned from Psyche will be implemented across our entire mission portfolio. I am excited about the science insights Psyche will provide during its lifetime and its promise to contribute to our understanding of our own planet’s core.”


The Psyche mission was launched in 2017 as part of NASA's Discovery program, a line of "low-cost, competitive missions led by a single principal investigator".


JPL Director Laurie Leshin also said that she was "extremely proud of the Psyche team", adding: “During this review, they have demonstrated significant progress already made toward the future launch date. I am confident in the plan moving forward and excited by the unique and important science this mission will return.”

Reference: NASA 

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