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Asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire to be reached by spacecraft in August 2029

Asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire to be reached by spacecraft in August 2029

Scientists think this asteroid contains almost unimaginable wealth.

A faraway asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire is estimated to be reached by NASA’s spacecraft in the not-so-distant future.

Situated between Mars and Jupiter lies an asteroid which is thought to be packed with iron, nickel and gold, worth a mind-boggling value of $10,000,000,000,000,000,000 - which is $10,000 quadrillion.

The asteroid, named 16 Psyche, has captured the attention of the world’s top scientists and researchers at NASA.

The space station's latest mission? To find out more about 16 Psyche, which is believed by scientists to be the largest of the metal-rich asteroids in our solar system.

A model of 16 Psyche, which is thought to be rich in metals.
CHANDAN KHANNA / Contributor / Getty

The journey to the 16 Psyche, a distance of a staggering 2.2 billion miles (3.5 billion km) through space, is already underway, with the SpaceX Falcon Heavy vessel setting off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral in Florida on October 13.

According to NASA, the aim of the mission is to 'tell us more about planetary cores and how planets form'.

Now, NASA has hinted when they estimate the vessel will make its return journey to Earth and has revealed a detailed timeline of the unmanned orbiter’s mission - which spans several years and could bring life-changing wealth to our planet.

Over the next few months, as the SpaceX Falcon Heavy begins its journey to 16 Psyche, mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will monitor the spacecraft’s system to ensure it is still fit to cross the billions of miles of distance across deep space.

The spacecraft launched in October.
CHANDAN KHANNA / Contributor / Getty

If all goes according to plan, NASA estimates the vessel will reach 16 Psyche by August 2029 - located in the main asteroid belt.

It will orbit the asteroid for just over two years, in order to collect information about its gravity, composition and magnetic properties.

From there, the spacecraft is programmed to head to Mars, where it will obtain a small gravity assist to boost its momentum. This will hopefully put the spacecraft in position for its final destination - home.

NASA estimates the mission will conclude in November 2031, which could be a historic month for space exploration in the 21st century.

While the spacecraft won't (yet) be bringing any riches back to Earth, it will be hugely important for scientists.

According to NASA, the asteroid measures a whopping 173 miles (280 km) across and 144 miles (232 km) long, while its surface area is 64,000 square miles (165,800 square km) - and scientists are keen to know more about it.

"Psyche is by far the largest, and that's why we want to go to it," Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA's science mission directorate, told

"Because the smaller ones are more likely to have been changed by things impacting them, whereas the big one, we think, is going to be completely unchanged."

Featured Image Credit: Credit: solarseven / Getty