Nasa recently delayed their manned mission to Mars, but even more recently, NASA decided to push forward with their plans to explore 16 Psyche, an asteroid that is composed of almost exclusively nickel-iron ore. The value of this asteroid is estimated to be around ten-thousand quadrillion dollars. When compared to the global economy of roughly 80-trillion dollars, it is apparent that this asteroid could heavily benefit anyone who can extract its resources.
What is special about this asteroid?
16 Psyche is composed almost entirely of nickel-iron ore. Its diameter of nearly 250 km makes it an immensely valuable and resource-rich object for NASA and others to study and potentially harvest in due time. Two major questions that scientists have posed are: how is the asteroid not covered in ice or other commonly found coatings? and how did the core of the asteroid solidify?
How much is the asteroid worth?
16 Psyche is estimated to be worth enough to collapse the whole global economy of over 75 trillion dollars. Ten-thousand quadrillion dollars, approximately 128,000 times more than the entire global economy. The asteroid contains more value in resources than one trillion ounces of pure platinum.
How could it impact the global economy?
If the resources contained in 16 Psyche were to be harvested and dropped onto the global economy, it is likely that the global economy would see significant strain or even collapse entirely. The resources could also meet human metal resource requirements for the foreseeable future if the asteroid could be utilized.
16 Psyche has the potential to disrupt the global economy with its vast amount of readily available resources and also offers insight into the vast wonders of space. An exposed asteroid core of solid ore is definitely not a common occurrence, but 16 Psyche is one such phenomenon. Scientists want to both research and harvest it to advance humanity.
Ten-thousand quadrillion dollars, more than 100,000 times the value of the entire global economy is just floating in a chunk out in space. And even that is only a tiny fraction of the resources space has to offer. With NASA fast tracking this research, it is not infeasible that we may begin harvesting minerals from space with regularity in the near future.