In September of this year, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe landed on the blue planet and came back from space with an extremely valuable cargo. It was him Material collected from the surface of asteroid Bennu.
The development of the mission, the creation of a spacecraft, its sending into space and subsequent coordination cost the American agency huge amounts of money. The researchers calculated that it would cost approximately 255 grams of an asteroid sample to be transported to Earth $1.16 billion.
The first extraterrestrial material brought to the blue planet were samples from the surface of the moon. In total, up to 382 kg of lunar regolith were transported (1969-1972). The total cost of the Apollo program (adjusted for inflation) was $257 billion. This gives approx $674,000 (about PLN 2,844,000) per gram of sample.
Around 2030 NASA plans to return samples from MarsTo see if they contain traces of ancient life. In all, 30 test tubes are scheduled to arrive at Earth, containing a total of 450 grams of Martian regolith. So far, the Perseverance rover has prepared 10 such “packages”.
Researchers point out that the costs of the entire project have increased recently. It has been estimated that transporting samples from Mars to Earth would cost $11 billion, or $11 billion NASA will pay up to $24 million for one gram of Mars rocks (more than 1 billion Polish zlotys) – this is about 5 times more than the sample from Bennu.
It is worth noting that some satellite samples are free. According to Phys.org, approximately 50 tons of free rock, i.e. meteorites, fall to Earth almost every day (most of it, however, burns up in Earth’s atmosphere).
Meteorites can be purchased online. Chondrites (meteorites consisting mainly of olivine and pyroxene) can be purchased for just a few zlotys per gram. Iron meteorites are a little more expensive and cost at least a dozen or several tens of zlotys per gram. In contrast, some stone and iron meteorites can cost up to PLN 150 per gram.
The largest meteorite from the Moon (weighing 1.8 kg) was worth $700 per gram (less than 3,000 Polish zlotys). Meanwhile, meteorites from Mars were worth $388 per gram (more than PLN 1,600).
The price of a gram of pure silver is less than 4 PLN, while the price of a gram of gold is less than 270 PLN. High-quality emeralds are about 10 times more expensive than gold, while diamonds can be up to 100 times more expensive than this precious metal.
DiamondIt is contaminated with boron, and is extremely rare, which is why the price of one gram of it is about 19 million US dollars. Phys.org reports that NThe most expensive synthetic material is interfacial fullereneThat is, small structures made of carbon atoms with a nitrogen atom trapped inside them – cost $141 million per gram.
According to Phys.org, the most expensive radioactive elements are… Boulogne-209One gram of it costs $49 billion. but The most expensive thing in the world today is antimatter. The site notes that the cost of producing one gram of antimatter (with current technology it would take billions of years) would be an incredible $35 trillion.
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