April 16, 2018 – By Max Morgan
NASA was planning to take closer look on asteroid that has 95 percent of metal in it in 2023. Plans have changed due to issue with costs. Now, they are going to take a closer look on the asteroid a year earlier, in 2022. Research spacecraft will reach mysterious metal Psyche only in 2026.
Psyche orbits the sun between Jupiter and Mars. Scientists are curious about this asteroid, mainly because its structure is easier to explore, and it may lit the light on developments of rocky planets as Earth.
The head of new mission is Lindy Elkins-Tanton, from the state university of Arizona. She is the first woman who leads deep space mission after Maria Zuber and GRAIL project.
Elkins-Tanton will collaborate with the head investigator of mission, Jim Bell, planetary scientist from ASU.
It is also a well-known fact that Psyche consists of metal on 95 percent, and has 124 mile with 200 km wide.
Scientists believe that it looks similar to a core of any planet from rock. Researchers can’t reach our planet’s core mainly because of high temperatures and pressure.
With the help of Psyche, they can finally gather the data.
Some scientists believe that Psyche asteroid is the part of some other world that crashed, and left a small piece of it in the face of Psyche.
The main goal of scientists is to find out the age of Psyche, study the surface and check topography. During the mission scientists will share photos and videos, publish their opinions about the asteroid. They want to turn attention of publicity to this important research.
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