NASA has given more information about its plans to visit the metal asteroid Psyche as part of a mission that begins next year.
After 27 years of work, NASA has finally managed to send the James Webb telescope into space today. But the agency continues to work without interruption, or even speeding up. Now he has revealed details of a trip to Psyche, an asteroid found between Mars and Jupiter.
NASA thinks Psyche could be the nucleus of an ancient planet
Research has shown that the asteroid Psyche, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, has an estimated value of 10,000 quadrillion. That’s more money than the entire world economy. NASA’s Hubble New images from the Space Telescope give us a closer view of the asteroid. But for a real discovery, it needs to be looked at more closely.
For this reason, the Psyche spacecraft, which will be launched in August 2022, will visit this strange metal asteroid, called Psyche, which is located in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, which is found to be mostly nickel and iron. It is thought to be unique, as many of its species are only rocks. The researchers even want to find out if Psyche is the nucleus of an ancient planet.
Lindy Elkins-Tanton, principal investigator of the Psyche mission at Arizona State University, said in a statement:
If it turns out to be part of a metal core, the first generation in our solar system will be part of the early cores. But we really don’t know, and we won’t know anything for sure until we get there. We wanted to ask basic questions about the material that makes up the planets. We’re full of questions and not many answers. So this is going to be a real discovery.
To learn more about the asteroid, the Psyche spacecraft will be equipped with tools such as a magnetometer to measure magnetic fields and spectrometers that use light to determine what the asteroid is made of. After launch next year, the vehicle will have to travel 1.5 billion miles ( 1.5 billion miles) to reach the asteroid. This is going to take a few years.
NASA expects the Psyche spacecraft to reach its asteroid in late 2025, before entering orbit around it in January 2026. It will begin its mission in a relatively safe orbit, 435 miles from the asteroid’s surface, and move closer to the asteroid. So teams around the world can get more detailed data.