Five trillion dollars worth asteroid passes by Earth
Asteroid 2011 UW158 passed by at six times the distance between Earth and the moon – still relatively close for a future asteroid mining mission.
What makes this asteroid valuable, which is just under a kilometre in diameter, is a core made out of platinum.
In fact, Forbes reported that the platinum core is worth roughly five trillion dollars.
Work is already underway to develop asteroid mining, with private firm Planetary Resources testing technology on the International Space Station this week.
The company’s Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) spacecraft was launched from the ISS’s airlock on a 90-day mission.
A3R is a testbed for future spacecraft that will travel to asteroids, being used to test navigation, avionics and software.
Hopefully by the time the next valuable asteroid flies past Earth, the man will be in a position to do more than just point it out.