An asteroid could explain the formation of our own planet
A NASA mission to the asteroid Psyche could shine light on the history of planetary formation.
A spacecraft will launch from the Kennedy Space Center to explore a building block asteroid named Psyche.
This mission is the first time NASA will see this dense asteroid up close. This asteroid was chosen because it is one of the largest metallic asteroids in our solar system.
Laurie Leshin, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said that by studying rich asteroids like Psyche we can learn more about the history of our planet and solar system.
“Psyche is a mission of firsts. The first journey ever to a metal asteroid that could reveal clues about planetary cores and how planets form and evolve early in our solar system,” Leshin said.
Asteroids like Psyche that formed during the early stages of our solar system are the remnants of building blocks that make up our rocky planets today.
The dense and diverse Psyche asteroid was chosen for exploration in 2019 because it is the largest metal-rich asteroid in our solar system.
Lori Glaze, the director of the Planetary Sciences Division at NASA, said that by studying asteroids we can learn more about the history behind planetary formation in our universe.
“The psyche asteroid is representative of one type of asteroid but in fact there are several types of asteroid and each of the asteroids is a remnant of the earliest building blocks that made up all the planets and moons”
The spacecraft will launch on October 5th, 2023, and get to the asteroid in 2029, where it will orbit Psyche for 26 months.
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