NASA is eyeing up a nearby asteroid that contains enough gold to make everyone on Earth a billionaire.
Psyche 16 is nestled between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and is made of solid metal.
As well as gold, the mysterious object is loaded with heaps of platinum, iron and nikel.
In total, it’s estimated that Psyche’s various metals are worth a gargantuan £8,000 quadrillion.
That means if we carried it back to Earth, it would destroy commodity prices and cause the world’s economy – worth £59.5trillion – to collapse.
We’ve known about Psyche 16 for a while, but its potential to cause havoc on Earth was recently touched upon by a veteran miner.
Scott Moore, who heads up EuroSun Mining, said the sheer amount of gold in the asteroid threatens to throw the gold industry into chaos.
“The ‘Titans of Gold’ now control hundreds of the best-producing properties around the world,” he told Oil Price.
“But the 4-5 million ounces of gold they bring to the market every year pales in comparison to the conquests available in space.”
Nasa is launching a mission to probe the asteroid in summer 2022. Dubbed the Discovery Mission, it will arrive at Psyche 16 around 2026.
But bringing back an asteroid of this value could completely wipe out our global economy.
Fortunately, the space agency is taking the trip for scientific purposes and isn’t planning on conducting any mining.
It reckons 16 Psyche is a survivor of violent hit-and-run collisions between planets which were common when the solar system was forming.
That means it could tell us how Earth’s core and the cores of the other terrestrial planets were formed.
Two space mining companies – backed by big name celebs – are gearing up for a gold rush after asteroid ownership was made legal in 2015.
Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources each have their eyes on the 2011 UW158 asteroid which is twice the size of the Tower of London and worth up to £4.5trillion.
In other news, a huge 164-foot asteroid could crash into Earth this yearand flatten an area larger than London.
Full list of asteroids that could crash into Earth revealed.
And, a bizarre plot to move Earth by ‘slingshotting asteroids’ at us could prevent fiery apocalypse.
Do you think we should mine Psyche 16 for gold? Let us know in the comments!
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