NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has launched a spacecraft named Psyche to one of the largest metal-rich asteroids called Psyche. It was launched on October 13 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft was launched with a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. The aim of this mission is find out more about the Psyche asteroid in our solar system and to know the further possibilities it has as an asteroid. The rocket launch was telecasted live on NASA TV.
What Is NASA’s Psyche Mission About?
Psyche spacecraft is approximately the size of a small van. This spacecraft is said ot be part of a mission that is to study more about the asteroid, but many details of it are not available as of now.
Now, the NASA mission is to find the reality of this asteroid. This mission is one among the many in the series by NASA on a quest to find out more about the origins of Earth that happened approximately 4.5 billion years ago. By sending spacecraft to the asteroid that has been present in the solar system for about this long, NASA aims to seek whether it can get any new information.
NASA expects the spacecraft to reach the asteroid by August 2029 and will start to orbit the asteroid for the next 26 months. During this time period, Psyche will scan the asteroid using its tools and equipment. It is planned to find out about the gravity of the asteroid, the magnetic properties that it possesses, and its composition. NASA estimates that it will be reaching the asteroid in August of 2029.
What Do We Know About The Psyche Asteroid?
Psyche asteroid is considered as the remnant core of an ancient protoplanet by scientists and it is known as the asteroid that contains metal deposits. What we know about Psyche asteroid, so far, according to NASA, are as follows:
- Psyche is considered to be an ancient protoplanet.
- The widest point of the asteroid is roughly measured as 279 km (173 miles).
The residing location of Psyche is on the outer fringes of the major asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, the planets.
- Psyche is considered as an inner hulk of another baby planet and it is currently estimated that it was torn away from its mother planet. This separation might have been due to some impactful collisions with some other celestial bodies that existed or passed through our solar system billions of years ago.
- Psyche orbits around the sun at a rate three times farther than the rate Earth is orbiting around the sun.
What Is NASA Planning To Seek About Psyche?
This mission is to find out possibly everything that NASA can about the asteroid. The science community expects that the spacecraft will be able to find out details about the asteroid that might unveil or remove the darkness from at least a very few things that we do not know about our own planet.
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