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Asteroid that could make everyone on Earth billionaires to be explored this year

An asteroid so full of precious metals it could make every single person on Earth a billionaire is set to be investigated by scientists.

Psyche 16 was first spotted back in 1852 and space boffins have been itching to research it ever since.

But as the precious space rock is a whopping 300 million miles from Earth, spinning around the sun between Mars and Jupiter, exploring it has been impossible until now.

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The asteroid is believed to be covered in iron, nickel and gold which experts estimate would be worth an eye-watering $10,000quintillion here on Earth, reports LadBible.

That's $10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 USD, the equivalent of about £7,700quintillion GBP – enough for all eight billion human beings to pocket just shy of one trillion pounds.

NASA has now developed a spacecraft that will head towards the money-maker space rock, and it is expected to launch on October 5.

But don't go quitting your job or eyeing up mega-mansions just yet, as the organisation said it's not heading to the asteroid to steal its cargo.

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Instead, boffins are hoping the mission will help them better understand how planets form.

"What makes the asteroid Psyche unique is that it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the building blocks of our solar system," the NASA website reads.

And in a statement about the launch, the organisation said: "With less than 100 days to go before its launch, teams of engineers and technicians are working almost around the clock to ensure the orbiter is ready to journey 2.5 billion miles to a metal-rich asteroid that may tell us more about planetary cores and how planets form."

The six-year mission was supposed to take place last year, but it was pulled as the spacecraft wasn't ready.

Now experts have completed all necessary tests of the spacecraft and its capabilities to ensure a smooth operation.

The rocket is set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center at 10:38am EDT (3:38pm BST) on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, one of Elon Musk's crafts designed to carry objects into Earth's orbit, before it uses solar power to propel itself past Mars.

The craft will then orbit Psyche 16 for 26 months, during which it will snap pictures of the goldmine space rock and gather data.

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