Psyche’s mission: visiting a metal asteroid

Psyche is a NASA mission expected to launch in 2022 that will explore a 140-mile (225 kilometers) metal asteroid called Psyche 16. No spacecraft has ever visited an object like 16 Psyche, which is believed to be the bare core of a destroyed planet. The mission is expected to provide important information on planetary formation.

Along with a mission called Lucy who will visit the primary asteroids near Jupiter, Psyche was approved in January 2017 as part of the NASA Discovery program. “This is what Discovery missions are all about – to boldly go to places we’ve never been to enable groundbreaking science,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, assistant administrator for NASA’s Science Missions Directorate in Washington, DC. statement at that time.

Connected: NASA prepares to investigate the corpse of an ancient planet in the asteroid belt

The artist depicts the metal-rich asteroid Psyche, which a NASA spacecraft will visit later this decade.

Artistic depiction of the metal-rich asteroid Psyche. (Image credit: Maxar / ASU / P. Rubin / NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Psyche: metal asteroid

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