NASA agreed technical design document of the project of a new spacecraft intended for exploration of the asteroid Psyche. Development of the unit is expected to begin next month. The mission is scheduled to launch in 2022, two years later, the probe will have to reach a celestial body, according to the portal .
According to experts, the Psyche, located in the main asteroid belt is a metal core of very ancient planetary body – planetesimal. The heavenly body was destroyed at the dawn of the formation of the Solar system, so are unable to develop into a full-fledged planet. This could be due to the collision of the object with other celestial bodies.
Information about psyche not so much. Thanks to the new mission, planetary scientists expect to learn more about this object. As the researchers note, the study will help to better understand the history of the Solar system.
“We speculated on what it really can discover on the psyche, so ready for anything. The tools of our apparatus will carry out all necessary scientific measurements and observations, so that we learn the history of this facility,” said Jim bell, the curator of the project space.
In his opinion, the asteroid Psyche could retain some residual heat in its interior. Scientists believe that the object will be able to find reserves of Nickel and sulfur.
The mission of “Psyche” were selected as potentially interesting in the beginning of 2017 under the program “Discovery” (a series of inexpensive robotic space projects, which aim at exploring the Solar system). Preparation and implementation of the new mission, according to NASA estimates, would cost $ 750 million.
Earlier it was reported that NASA plans a permanent presence on the lunar surface. We are talking about the base with robots, Rovers, and people that will fly for a long time to engage in scientific activities. In addition, the Department considers the moon as a training ground before the development of Mars.