NASA is preparing to send a spacecraft to a giant “metal” asteroid that may tell scientists the secret of how our solar system was formed.
Led by Arizona State University researchers, the mission called “Psyche” is focused to know whether the asteroid, called “16 Psyche” and thought to be made of iron and nickel, could be part of what was an earlier planet perhaps as large as Mars.
Psyche robotic mission will launch in October 2023 and will arrive at the asteroid in 2030, following an Earth gravity assist spacecraft maneuver in 2024 and a Mars flyby in 2025, NASA said in a post.
“16 Psyche” is nearly three times farther away from the sun than is the Earth. The asteroid measures about 210 kilometres in diameter.