NASA will send a spacecraft to the volcanic asteroid Psyche. What is interesting about this object?

Specialists of the jet propulsion Laboratory, the U.S. space Agency NASA approved the technical design document of the project of a new spacecraft, designed to study very mysterious small celestial body of the asteroid Psyche. Development of the unit is expected to begin next month. Mission to the psyche it is planned to launch in 2022, according to the portal Smithsonian.com. To the object, the probe needs to get to 2026-m. What is of interest to NASA this asteroid?

According to space Agency, located in the main asteroid belt object, called the Psyche, is a metal core of very ancient planetary body, planetesimal, destroyed at the dawn of the formation of the Solar system before it could develop into a full-fledged planet. This could cause some catastrophic collisions of the object with other celestial bodies. However, as scientists believe, the object can maintain the signs of ferromanganese that occurred in his distant past.

In fact, planetary scientists know very little about this object, so they expect to know more about it thanks to the new mission. The study object, the researchers note, will help you better understand the history of our Solar system. According to one of the assumptions in the result of collision with other celestial bodies, the outer layers of a naked molten core of psyche, under the action of cold of space, cooled and hardened, forming solid iron crust. Scientists want to study it.

“We have no idea what is actually in there to find it, so will be prepared for anything. The tools of our apparatus will carry out all necessary scientific measurements and observations that will allow us to piece together the history of this facility,” commented Jim bell, curator of the project of the spacecraft “Psyche” (Yes, the machine got the same name as the object that it will explore).

According to the source the probe “Psyche” will be equipped with spectrometer and other scientific equipment.

According to Bella, the Psyche after a collision with other celestial bodies, deprived of its shell, could retain some residual heat in its interior. Scientists believe that in the framework of the mission at the facility will be able to find reserves of Nickel and possibly sulfur.

The mission of “Psyche” was selected as potentially interesting in the beginning of 2017 under the program “Discovery” — a series of inexpensive, robotic space missions that explore the Solar system. The cost of training and implementation of new mission NASA is estimated at $ 750 million.

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