Late last month, we told you about an asteroid that will fly by the Earth at close proximity on February 15. Essentially, it will squeeze its way in between the Earth and the Moon, which is actually really close, and one company is saying that the asteroid is worth $195 billion in materials, such as metals and propellants. However, others aren't so sure about that figure.
Deep Space Industries says that they're willing to pay whoever can go up into space and actually grab the asteroid to mine it for materials, and if that sounds nearly impossible, it probably is at this point. However, Deep Space Industries claim that there are many other asteroids near Earth that would be far easier to catch anyway.
According to DSI, if this specific asteroid contains even 5% recoverable water, that alone might be worth as much as $65 billion in rocket fuel. DSI also explains that the asteroid most likely weighs anywhere from as little as 16,000 tons to as much as one million tons, so the amount of easily-recovered metals, like iron and nickel, could be worth $130 billion alone.
Many people are skeptical about the asteroids worth, though. It's not to say that the asteroid itself isn't worth almost $200 billion, but the work that it would take to mine the materials would cost a fortune, as noted by Forbes. Essentially, they argue that since it's impossible right now to mine asteroids and use the materials in space to build other things, the asteroid is worth nothing until we're able to actually mine the thing.
[via Network World]