An enormous asteroid made of precious metals could solve the metal resource problem forever.
An incredibly large asteroid, estimated to measure around 200km in diameter is currently caught in the sun’s orbit between Mars and Jupiter. According to NASA researchers, the asteroid is composed of a heavy concentration of highly valuable metals such as iron, nickel, and gold. It is believed that the iron alone present in the composition of the rock is worth the equivalent of $10,000 quadrillion, enough to dwarf the entire world’s economy which currently stands at $73.7 trillion.
IT DWARFS THE ENTIRE WORLD’S ECONOMY
Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the lead scientist on the NASA mission and the director of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, has said that the practical and ethical implications of the discovery of this asteroid are already being discussed at NASA headquarters. “Even if we could grab a big metal piece and drag it back here … what would you do? Could you kind of sit on it and hide it and control the global resource — kind of like diamonds are controlled corporately — and protect your market?”
However, she seemed to reject this suggestion and proposed a more humanitarian solution for dealing with the precious space rock. Elkins-Tanton pointed out that the metal resource problems currently being experience by humanity could be completely solved if NASA managed to extract the rock from space and brought it back to Earth.
At this present time, discussions about the use the contents of the space rock, which has been named Psyche by NASA personnel, are purely hypothetical. NASA has conceded that it does not yet possess the technological capability to pull this rock out of orbit and bring it back to Earth. Currently, NASA plans to send a spacecraft to make observations about the astonishingly valuable rock in 2023. The craft is expected to arrive at the asteroid in 2030. Perhaps by then, NASA will have a more concrete plan about how to utilize the precious metals on the asteroid.