NASA confirms it's launching mission to explore asteroid that could make everyone on earth a billionaire
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NASA has confirmed it’s launching a mission next year to explore an asteroid worth a whopping £8,000 quadrillion - enough to theoretically make everyone on Earth a billionaire.
“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 Psyche is composed of materials similar to those found in the core of Earth, with Forbes reporting that this core is thought to contain iron, nickel and gold worth $10,000 quadrillion (£8,000 quadrillion).
The outlet also previously explained how, if anyone could mine the asteroid, the resulting riches would ‘collapse the paltry Earth economy of around $74 trillion’.
NASA’s mission was due to launch earlier this year, but the space agency said it missed the period ‘as a result of mission development problems’, which led to an internal review of ‘whether the mission would be able to overcome these issues to successfully launch in 2023’.
While the independent review board is still finalising its report, NASA has confirmed the Psyche mission is still going forward, and is now targeting a new launch period opening on 10 October 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 programme, 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.”