We may not often think about space from the security of our cocoon here on Earth. Some large chunks have already been a little too confining this year, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, including the asteroid 1989 JA on May 27, 2001, CB21 on March 4, and 1994 PC1 on January 18.
All of these celestial bodies have a maximum probable expanse of more than 1,000 meters (0.6 miles), and in the case of 1989 JA, it nearly doubles that at 1,800 meters, as asteroid diameters are typically classified as ranges (1.1 miles).
Although 1989 JA, one of this year’s asteroid flybys, may also be the largest, the space rock is traveling at a safe four million kilometers or five times the altitude from Earth to the moon. When taking into account the most likely route, two upcoming aircraft of smaller asteroids will occur at significantly closer distances, just 1.1 million and 0.8 million kilometers, or around the distance from Earth to the moon.
A nearly inconceivable number of riches are also there in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter that are just waiting to be used. The asteroid “Davida,” which has a diameter of 326 kilometers, has reportedly been identified as the most valuable meteor in the belt, with a proportion estimated to be around 27 quintillion U.S. dollars, as seen in our second chart and by Wired and Valerio Pellegrini. Water, nickel, iron, cobalt, nitrogen, ammonia, and hydrogen are all found in this carbonaceous chondrite asteroid.
A globalized space race encompassing a wide range of governmental and private enterprises has emerged over the past 20 years as a result of technological advancement. Our last infographic, which was created using data from BryceTech, shows that from 2015 to 2017, $11.1 billion in total was acquired in start-up space enterprises. However, approximately $30 billion has been invested over the past three years, with 2021 shattering all prior records with $15.4 billion.