NASA is eager to send a probe to the asteroid (16) Psyche whose study could not only shed light on the origins of the solar system, but also have a considerable impact on the global economy, assuming that we could bring back the precious metals that compose it.
Originally scheduled for October 2023, the launch of the device that will study the asteroid (16) Psyche will take place a year ahead. In addition, thanks to a revised flight path, this probe will reach the asteroid in 2026 instead of 2030, say researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The main purpose of this mission is to gather more information about our solar system. Unlike other masses in the asteroid belt, (16) Psyche is almost entirely made up of iron and nickel, like the nucleus of the Earth.
In addition, the size of this asteroid and the metals it is composed of suggest that it could be the core of a planet that has lost its mantle, crust and atmosphere. Thus, his study will better understand the origins of our planet and what lies beneath its bark.
In addition, similar asteroids could provide valuable resources to humanity. For example, (16) Psyche is a piece of iron and nickel 253 km in diameter. This is without counting the other metals including gold, platinum, copper, cobalt, iridium and lenheium it contains.
According to Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University , if it were possible to carry the entire body of the asteroid on Earth, 10,000 square kilometers would be taken out of the sale of its iron. Given that global GDP in 2015 was only about 73.7 trillion dollars, such an amount of iron could collapse the global economy, said the scientist.