NASA might cancel mission to massive ‘gold mine asteroid’ — here’s why it shouldn’t

The Hill/Mark R. Whittington/8-14-2022

illustration of the location of the asteroid belt

“It is sometimes called ‘the golden asteroid’ because many people believe it contains an abundance of valuable metals. Unfortunately, NASA recently announced a launch delay because of the need to review software. The probe may launch in 2023 or 2024 to arrive at 16 Psyche in 2029 or 2030, respectively. The mission may be canceled altogether since the delay would cause further cost.”

USAGOLD note: At one time this planetesimal, comprised of solid iron, nickel, gold and platinum was valued at $10 quintillion. Since those early estimates, it has been downgraded to being worth only $11.65 trillion. Given the logistical and technical problems associated with such a distant venture, one wonders how much it would cost to get there and successfully mine it. As you can see by the accompanying illustration, the asteroid is located somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.

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