2011 UW-158: Asteroid worth $5.4 trillion to pass Earth

2011 UW-158: Asteroid worth $5.4 trillion to pass Earth

UW-158 Asteroid

Last Sunday, the 19th of July 2015, an asteroid called 2011 UW-158 passed by Earth. Actually it was just 1.5 million miles from Earth.

Astronomers speculated that the asteroid might have carried as much as $5.4 trillion worth of precious metals and minerals, according to Slooh. Which is a project which links telescopes to the internet for public use, was broadcasting images from an observatory in the Canary Islands.

Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman said: “What makes this unusual is the large amount of platinum believed to be lurking in the body of this space visitor. Can it be mined someday, perhaps not too far in the future?

Asteroids like UW-158 are defined as ‘X-type’ asteroids by prospecting company Planetary Resources. The size of this space visitor is of 10 football fields.

Planetary Resources - Space Mining

Planetary Resources are already testing out new technologies which they hope that may one day be able to land on asteroids and mine the precious metals they’re made of.

The day before UW-158 passed by us, the company launched their first demonstration vehicle from the International Space Station to test technologies for mining asteroids.

The company has already catalogued dozens of similar asteroids across the solar system.

Space Mining
Technology intended for mining asteroids is launched from the ISS the ISS Kibo Airlock

Peter H. Diamandis, the co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources, said: “The successful deployment of the A3R is a significant milestone for Planetary Resources as we forge a path toward prospecting resource-rich asteroids.

Our team is developing the technology that will enable humanity to create an off-planet economy that will fundamentally change the way we live on Earth.

Mining.com reported that scientists believe the half-kilometer-wide asteroid contains up to 90 million metric tons of platinum and other precious metals.

2011 UW-158 is an asteroid worth $5.4 trillion and it was to pass Earth on July 19th 2015, and it did. 

Meelis Paloson

Meelis Paloson

Founder at Meanwhiler.me
I'm the Founder of Meanwhiler.me. Originally I'm from a tiny country called Estonia but I have been living in Barcelona, Spain since summer 2004.

I'm passionate about social media, new technologies, gadgets, business development, healthy cooking, fitness, music and travel. I like spending time walking around and getting inspiration.
Meelis Paloson