NASA plans to explore a very strange asteroid through the planned Psyche mission,media reported. SpaceX will be the company that will escort the spacecraft off Earth. Last week, NASA announced that it had granted SpaceX a contract for the Psyche mission launch service.
The mission is reported to be scheduled to launch in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in July 2022 and reach its destination in 2026. The Falcon Heavy rocket, the brother of SpaceX’s Falcon 9, which is larger and more buffering than the rocket.
Psyche asteroids are located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists expect it to be very different from familiar rocky asteroids such as Bennu.
“This asteroid is considered unique because it appears to consist primarily of the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the cornerstones of our solar system,” NASA said. “Exploring this asteroid may give scientists a new insight into the history of the Earth’s nuclear core.
The Psyche spacecraft may not be the only one during launch. NASA expects to deliver two more secondary payloads. Among them, the Escape and Plasma and Cosmo and Dynamics Explorers (EscaPADE) missionwill will explore the Martian atmosphere, and the Janus mission will explore the twin-star stars.