An asteroid made of gold and precious metals in NASA'S sights

An asteroid made of gold and precious metals in NASA'S sights

By CNEWS - updated 21/01/2020 at 12:57 pm

Published on 1/1/2020 12:57 pm

The 2020s promises to be full of discoveries for Nasa. And among the most anticipated missions, the one concerning the asteroid "Psyche 16", promises to capture the attention of space exploration enthusiasts as well as the general public.
And for good reason, since the asteroid would harbor an immense quantity of gold and precious metals. All for an estimated value of 700 quintillion of dollars, or 700 billion of a thousand billion billion of dollars. Or $ 93,000 billion per capita of the Earth (if one does not take into account the consequent devaluation of gold if such a redistribution was carried out).
The mission was named by Nasa "Psyche: journey to a metal world". The "Psyche" probe is to be launched in 2022 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is due to arrive in orbit around the asteroid in 2026, after three and a half years of travel, propelled by solar energy. It will fly over Mars in 2023.
Psyche then spent 21 months observing the asteroid, discovered in 1852 by the Astronomer Anni bale De Guaspari's, mapping it and studying its properties.


Scientists will thus be able to study for the first time "iron nuclei", one of the essential elements for the formation of a planet. It will also be the first time that a world made up solely of metal, and not of rock and ice, has been studied. These observations will provide a better understanding of what is happening inside a planet like Earth, whose core has properties comparable to the asteroid.
On this occasion, Nasa will use for the first time a new type of laser encoding the data in photons to send them to Earth, whereas until now they were radio signals. This should make it possible to send much more data than was previously possible.

Mining in QUESTION

If the presence of an immense amount of precious metal were confirmed, then the question of mining the asteroid would arise. This, while space law remains blurred.
Under the outer space treaty signed in Washington in 1967, no private or public entity has the right to appropriate the moon or celestial bodies. But another treaty signed in 1979, the Moon treaty, establishes the principle that the Moon and its resources are part of the common heritage of mankind. In this way, two conceptions are opposed, between celestial bodies which belong to no one or which belong to everyone.
The United States could, however, rely on the "Space Act", passed in 2015, which "promotes the right of American citizens to undertake the exploration and commercial exploitation of space resources", excluding extraterrestrial life forms.
Several US private companies are already on the lookout, such as Deep Space Industries or Planetary Resources.
But it will be at least 50 years before any exploitation of the asteroid begins. And by then, other countries could join the ranks, and the laws could still evolve.

An asteroid made of gold and precious metals in NASA'S sights An asteroid made of gold and precious metals in NASA'S sights Reviewed by bsm on January 21, 2020 Rating: 5

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