Millions of asteroids could make you richer than Elon Musk – here’s how scientists might mine them

EXPERTS estimate there are trillions of dollars worth of precious metals and minerals in a lot of asteroids that come near Earth.

Many scientists think mining asteroids is a possibility and even Nasa has its eye on an asteroid that’s thought to be worth $10,000 quadrillion.


Asteroid 16 Psyche could contain enough precious metals to crash the gold marketCredit: Maxar/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Nasa will be sending a mission to Asteroid 16 Psyche in 2022.

Some scientists estimate it contains enough gold to make everyone on Earth a billionaire.

It’s potentially the exposed metal core of an early planet and the US space agency hopes to find out.

Right now, astronomers usually analyze light reflected from an asteroid’s surface to work out what it’s made of.

Closer inspection could teach us a lot more and reveal unknown treasures.

Nasa will be observing not mining Asteroid 16 Psyche but other organizations have plans to do so.

A company called Asteroid Mining Corporation announced plans to mine Asteroid 1986DA.

That particular space rock is thought to be worth up to $13 trillion.

It won’t be easy money though and it’s likely an asteroid mine would cost billions in itself to make and launch to space.

How could asteroids be mined?

No one is 100% sure what the first asteroid mine will look like but there’s plenty of designs and speculation floating around.

According to How Stuff Works, manned rockets could be sent to asteroids of interest along with plenty of robotic machinery to keep the humans required to a minimum.

Mining asteroids could be similar to mining processes on Earth, just with much more light weight equiptment.

It could involve scrapping the asteroid and creating a canopy around it to prevent the desired goods from floating into space.

Whatever the process looks like, it’s going to have to involve some anchoring down.

Asteroids have nearly no gravity so space miners and their equipment will have to be careful they don’t float away.

Whatever material is collected could then be put on a rocket and ferried to a base on the Moon or Earth.

Find out more about science

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NASA to send spacecraft to 16 Psyche asteroid which contains enough heavy metals to make everyone on Earth a billionaire

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