Asteroid Worth $195B, If Only We Could Catch It

Asteroid Worth $195B, If Only We Could Catch It

An asteroid would be worth $195B if only scientists had a way to catch the earth-buzzing rock.

NASA scientists said the asteroid, called 2012 DA14, is about half the size of a football field and will fly perilously close to earth on Wednesday. In fact, Wired noted that the asteroid will travel so close to earth that it will skim by TV and communication satellites.

Though researchers are just happy that there will be no collision with earth, the near-earth object could actually be very worthwhile — in fact the asteroid would be worth $195B in metals and propellant.

The estimate comes from Deep Space Industries, a private company that wants to mine these asteroids, Network World noted. But, though the asteroid flying by on Wednesday would be worth $195B, it would be too hard to catch, the company says. Instead, the company would focus on the many other near-earth objects.

While some may question Deep Space Industries’ estimates, company officials laid out exactly how they got to the $195B estimate. From Network World:

“Still, according to DSI experts, if 2012 DA14 contains 5% recoverable water, that alone — in space as rocket fuel — might be worth as much as $65 billion. If 10% of its mass It could mass which could range from as little as 16,000 tons or as much as one million tons — is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth — in space as building material — an additional $130 billion.”

The asteroid worth $195B is actually not all that uncommon. Though it’s the biggest object to fly by earth since sky surveys began in 1990, NASA officials noted that asteroids of its size fly by earth every 40 years or so. Once every 1,200 years or so one will actually hit the earth.