NASA in collaboration with Elon Musk’s Space X is planning to soar into outer space to explore a giant metallic asteroid with metals worth a gargantuan $10,000 quadrillion! This new mission’s aim is to examine and research what the asteroid is made of; it is supposed to contain different valuable metals such as platinum, iron, nickel, and the most valuable of them all gold. That’s why it’s often colloquially called the ‘golden asteroid’ because it contains metals worth more money than the world’s billionaires collectively own. And if Elon Musk were to execute the mining of the gold, there would be more than enough to distribute to everyone on the planet.
To put it into a tangible figure, according to the Print, it is hypothesized that if all the metal on the asteroid were valued, it would be worth a humongous $700 quintillion, enough to give everyone on the planet $93 billion. Forget lifting worldwide poverty, we could all be richer than the Ambanis!
Fox News also predicted that means if Elon Musk and NASA were successful in mining gold and we carried it back to Earth, it would destroy commodity prices and cause the world's economy, worth $75.5 trillion to collapse. Scott Moore, who heads up EuroSun Mining, said the sheer amount of gold in the asteroid threatens to throw the gold industry into chaos as reported by Fox News. In an interview with the Oil Price, he said, "The 'Titans of Gold' now control hundreds of the best-producing properties around the world."
"But the 4-5 million ounces of gold they bring to the market every year pales in comparison to the conquests available in space," he continued.
However, don’t get wrapped into this fantasy too soon as even if the spacecraft successfully reaches the asteroid, currently, there are no plans for mining or extracting the metal from there.
The Discovery mission is mainly investigative and is important as it’s the first time NASA and Space X will be studying a world of metal rather than planets and surfaces of rock and ice. According to the plan, Elon Musk and NASA will be launching an uncrewed spacecraft from Cape Canaveral in Florida in 2022 and the spacecraft is expected to reach the asteroid in 2026.
The mission is more of an exploration rather than Elon Musk solely mining gold
16 Psyche or the ‘golden asteroid’ is one of the most fascinating asteroids in the main asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter, about three times farther away from the sun than the Earth is.
NASA describes the asteroid in a statement, “The asteroid is considered unique, as it appears to largely be made of the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet - one of the building blocks of our solar system.” as reported by the BBC.
The giant rock measures about 140 miles across and is believed to be a survivor of collisions between planets, which were common during the formation of our Solar System. And because scientists cannot observe or measure the Earth’s core directly, Psyche 16 could provide scientists with some answers to the mystery of how the Earth’s core and the cores of other planets developed.
If they did bring back gold, would the global economy collapse?
Ok, so some news outlets are speculating that the economy would collapse, others are bearing headlines saying we can all become billionaires, but are any of these possible?
The truth is -mostly not.
According to the Print, even if Elon Musk carried out the mining of gold and other precious metals and bring back to the Earth, as soon they’d hit the market in abundance, they would lose their value in some time. If we flood the market with gold, it will no more be a precious, expensive metal rather it may become a common decorative metal.
As one of the basic rules of economics states, supply goes up and price falls down. Also, gold isn’t a precious metal because it is rare, it’s because it’s rare relative to people’s demand for it. In other words, a thing can be rare in the world but that doesn’t make it valuable, however, if it is rare and also in high demand that would increase its value.
In the short term, there could a surge of demand for gold when it arrives in abundance but later it will become as easily available as artificial gold, this will naturally decrease its value. It’s much like how we don’t flaunt around artificial jewelry.
Another reason why gold from the asteroid won’t make us all billionaires is that it doesn’t have the capability to create things to satisfy human desires or lead to groundbreaking innovation. And after its prices are lowered and value decreased, what will gold add to our wealth anyway?
So, having scarce resources won’t make you rich, rather creating something innovative like clean energy or other useful products that people really need, would. For example, how Elong Musk did with his brand of electric cars, Tesla, and the need for clean energy in the future.
We hate to disappoint your dreams of swimming in gold but at least this exploration will reveal the mystery of the Earth’s formation.