Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2019

Asteroid news NASA scientists 16 psyche asteroids mining gold platinum | Science | News

The asteroid, called 16 Psyche, is located in the primary asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA plans to launch a solar powered space probe towards the asteroid in 2022, which should arrive in 2026. It will then spend two years investigating the asteroids metallic composition.

Telescope observations suggest it is primarily made up of nickel and iron.

However according to NBC News experts believe it could also contain precious metals such as gold and platinum, which may be worth thousands of billions of pounds.

NASA has ambitious plans for both manned and unmanned space travel in the next decade.

NASA wants to resume human space missions from American soil for the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

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Vice President Mike Pence announced in March that he wanted to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024, despite setting his previous goal at 2028.

American astronaut Eugene Andrew Cernan was the last man to walk the moon in 1972.

US President Donald Trump is yet to make it clear whether he supports the mission.

The president urged in June for NASA to focus on “much bigger” initiatives like going to Mars.

Speaking to engineering students at the University of Colorado Boulder on Friday NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine suggested an all female crew could be sent on the mission.

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A student asked during the live-streamed session if NASA had considered sending an all-female crew for the Artemis session.

Mr Bridenstine said: “Have we considered it? Yes, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s what we did.”

He also said the crew had not been picked yet but that the first American woman and the next American man will visit the moon by 2024.

He continued: “We could have a crew of two women going to the moon within five years.”

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