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Asteroid to Be Mined for Minerals, NASA Making Initial Steps

By Jacques Strauss, | June 14, 2017

 An asteroid is heading towards Earth, according to NASA. (YouTube)

An asteroid is heading towards Earth, according to NASA. (YouTube)

Space mining could be the next big thing for humanity. A plan to be mine an asteroid for minerals is being developed by NASA.

Beyond movies and sci-fi novels, the idea of mining an asteroid could soon come true. An asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter will be the mining site.

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Dubbed as the 16 Psyche, the asteroid boasts of its 135-mile diameter as the potential mining ground. The said space rock is composed of precious space metals, which makes it very attractive for researchers and investors alike.

Accordingly, the said space rock orbiting located between Mars and Jupiter hold tons of minerals. Precious metals like nickel-iron, platinum, iridium, and rhenium are to be extracted from the giant rock in space.

If all things will come to fore without any issues, it is expected that Earth will surely benefit from the minerals to be extracted from space. It is estimated that the value of the minerals may extend up to $10 quintillion, which is 10 followed by 18 zeroes.

However, such task could be very difficult if not nearly impossible to today's standard. That is why research are to be conducted.

It is being proposed that a robotic vehicle will conduct research on the said asteroid. The spacecraft is expected to orbit the mining area for six months, giving light to its topography, gravity, magnetism and other important features necessary for a successful space mission.

One of the main concern about space mining is that space mining tools and transports are yet to be developed for a specific mission. However, NASA is not solely focused on the profit of the mission, for scientists are more interested in the metallic composition of the 16 Psyche asteroid.

For experts, new findings will yield to further understanding of asteroid composition and its future benefits to humankind. However, it cannot be denied that the profit is tempting enough to launch a space mission.

Watch here below how minerals are mined here on Earth:


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