Asteroid that could make everyone on earth a billionaire confirmed to be explored this year

Hurtling through space is an asteroid which we reckon is packed so choc-full of precious metals, that it would be worth $10,000 quintillion, which in numerical form is $10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or about 8,000 quintillion quid.
That sounds pretty neat doesn't it? Such a vast array of wealth would be enough to turn everyone on the planet into a billionaire. Though if we're going down that road, we might need to have a few conversations about hyperinflation and the effect everyone suddenly becoming loaded as hell would do to the value of your pocket change.

Anyhow, the asteroid is called Psyche 16 and we've actually known about it for quite a long time, since it was first spotted back in 1852 before we had any way of actually getting to it.

Psyche 16 orbits the sun and swirls around space between Mars and Jupiter and is about 300 million miles away from Earth.
NASA has got a craft which will head towards this thing and the current date for launch is pencilled in as 5 October.

However, they're not heading off to steal the asteroid or nab all of the precious metals because after all there's really no way we could manage that with the technology we have.

Instead they confirmed their mission goals in a statement which was to head towards the mass of iron, nickel and gold out there in the depths of space.

They said: "With less than 100 days to go before its launch, teams of engineers and technicians are working almost around the clock to ensure the orbiter is ready to journey 2.5 billion miles to a metal-rich asteroid that may tell us more about planetary cores and how planets form."

This mission had actually been set to fly last year but it wasn't ready, though experts have now managed to complete a full test of the spacecraft and its capabilities.

It'll be a six-year mission for the spacecraft, which is set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center at 10:38am EDT (3:38pm BST) on 5 October.
If that doesn't turn out to be the big day, then there are other potential launch dates scattered throughout the month of October, though the sooner it sets off the sooner it gets there.

It'll be launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, one of Elon Musk's craft for carrying objects into Earth's orbit.

However, this craft won't be staying within the gravitational pull of our planet and will instead set off beyond Mars towards the asteroid, using solar power to propel itself for six years.

In that time, it'll spend an estimated 26 months orbiting Psyche 16, taking pictures of the asteroid and gathering data on it which will tell us even more about this vastly valuable space rock.

Maybe one day we'll be mining asteroids for their incredible material wealth, but the 'everyone's a billionaire' thing is going to have to wait.

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