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The Psyche Mission: Visiting a metal asteroid

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Psyche is a NASA mission anticipated to launch in 2022 that may discover a 140-mile-wide (225 kilometers) metallic asteroid referred to as 16 Psyche. No spacecraft has ever visited an object like 16 Psyche, which is regarded as the uncovered core of a demolished planet. The mission is predicted to offer necessary insights into planetary formation. 

Together with a mission referred to as Lucy that may go to primordial asteroids close to Jupiter, Psyche was approved in January 2017 as a part of NASA’s Discovery program. “That is what Discovery Program missions are all about — boldly going to locations we have by no means been to allow groundbreaking science,” Thomas Zurbuchen, affiliate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C., stated in a statement on the time.

Associated: NASA’s getting ready to explore the corpse of an ancient planet in the asteroid belt

An artist's depiction of the metal-rich asteroid Psyche, which a NASA spacecraft will visit later this decade.

An artist’s depiction of the metal-rich asteroid Psyche. (Picture credit score: Maxar/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Psyche: the steel asteroid

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