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Psyche asteroid mission, illustration

Psyche asteroid mission, illustration

C041/5570

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Credit

NASA / JPL-CALTECH / ARIZONA STATE UNIV. / SPACE SYSTEMS LORAL / PETER RUBIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / ARIZONA STATE UNIV. / SPACE SYSTEMS LORAL / PETER RUBIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Psyche asteroid mission mission, illustration. NASA's Psyche mission near its target, the asteroid 16 Psyche. This asteroid has a diameter of over 200 kilometres and is one of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft has a distinctive five-panel solar array, as well as power and propulsion systems to travel to, and orbit, the asteroid. The mission plans launch in 2022 and arrival at Psyche in 2026. This asteroid is made almost entirely of nickel-iron metal. It should provide evidence about the initial conditions in which Earth and the other rocky planets formed. Image published in 2017.

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