26 months in space: NASA to send mission to unique metal asteroid
On October 5, NASA will send a special mission to Psyche, a metal-rich asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.
Asteroid Psyche is unique in that it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the building blocks of our solar system.
Psyche is scheduled for launch at 10:38 a.m. on October 5. It will take place aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle from Launch Complex 39A at NASA reports Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is leading the mission. The astronauts will embark on a journey of about 2.2 billion miles to the asteroid Psyche. That's 3.6 billion kilometers. When the spacecraft reaches its destination in 2029, it will spend about 26 months orbiting Psyche. During that time, it will collect images and other data.
NASA's Psyche spacecraft en route to its destination in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Illustration: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
The asteroid is believed to be a partial nucleus of a planetesimal. A celestial body formed in orbit around a young star by dust particles sticking together. Or the original material that never melted. The mission will help answer fundamental questions about Earth's metallic core and the formation of our solar system.
Together with astronauts, a laser receiver is planned to be delivered to the asteroid to demonstrate NASA's deep space optical communication technology. The goal of the project is to show how lasers can increase the speed of data transmission. This far exceeds the capabilities of current radio frequency systems used on spacecraft.
They will even dedicate a press conference to the mission. That will be held on Wednesday, September 6. Briefing for the media will be broadcast live on NASA Television. Also - in the application NASA, Facebook, X, YouTube and on the website of the agency.
The Socium.Network team is very curious about the results of the mission. But that's what space is for, to be unexplored and unreachable. What do you think?