NASA is gearing up for its groundbreaking Psyche mission, where a spacecraft of the same name will embark on a 2.5 billion miles journey to explore the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The target of this mission is the asteroid 16 Psyche, renowned for its unique composition of iron, nickel, and even gold. Speculations suggest that the asteroid's mineral wealth could be worth an astonishing $10,000 quadrillion.
Scheduled for launch on October 5, 2023, atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, the Psyche spacecraft will provide planetary scientists with an unprecedented opportunity to study an iron core similar to the Earth's center. The mission will offer insights into the formation and structure of planets, allowing researchers to better understand our own planet.
The Psyche mission aims to explore the metal-rich asteroid and investigate whether it may be the core of an ancient planetesimal—a building block of terrestrial planets like Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.