NASA contracts with SpaceX to launch the forthcoming Psyche mission into our solar system with a mysterious metal asteroid. For a cost $117 million, the mission will use one of the Falcon Heavy space X rockets.
“The Psyche Mission will fly to a single asteroid rich in metals, also known as the psyche that rotates the sun from Mars to Jupiter,” NASA said in a statement. “Astronomers claim that studying this rare asteroid will allow us to understand how planets, including planets such as Earth, form. This asteroid is a special as it seems to consist mostly of the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet — one of the building blocks of our solar systems.
“There are scientists deduce that there are metallic cores deep inside terrestrial, rocky planets including the Moon, but they are unattainable far below rocky mantles and crusts of the earth,” said NASA. The Mission to Psyche gives a unique insight into the violent history of crashes and the accretions which produced terrestrial planets because we are unable to see or measure the heart of this world directly.
In addition to electricity, the Psyche ship will have five solar display panels which allow the ship to navigate to and into the asteroid. The power supply is also provided by electricity. Today, the craft is in the design and production phase where the design is completed and processes are created for scientific experiments by the craft. Final assembly and testing will begin at the beginning of next year.
The Falcon Heavy rocket carries two secondary payloads as well as the Ego Spacecraft. The former will discuss the Mars Attraction, particularly how solar winds influence the atmosphere and the processes that lead the atmosphere to be lost into space. The first is the Escape and Plasma Acceleration & Dynamics Explorer (EscaPADE). The second satellite is Janus, who will study binary asteroids— pairs of asteroids that orbit each other and are thought to be some of the oldest bodies in our solar system.
The psyche mission is scheduled to launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida from Launch Complex 39A in July 2022.