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NASA’S PSYCHE MISSION

NASA’S PSYCHE MISSION

Context:

According to the news published in the https://scitechdaily.com/ on 27 December 2021, The NASA Psyche mission will be launched in August 2022. It will be the first launch to test the giant asteroid known as the Psyche in the giant asteroid belt.

About Psyche Mission:

  • Psyche is an orbiter mission of NASA that will explore the origin of planetary cores by studying the metallic asteroid named t16 Psyche. 
  • The Psyche asteroid is in between Mars & Jupiter. The asteroid is orbiting the Sun.
  • The Psyche mission is one among the two missions to explore the early Solar System. 
  • The principal investigator is Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University who proposed this mission for NASA's Discovery Program. 
  • This project will be managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

About 16 Psyche:

  • It is the heaviest known M-type asteroid.
  • It is thought to be the exposed iron core of a protoplanet.
  • Asteroid 16 Psyche is said to have a diameter of 222 km (138 mi).

Background:

  • The Psyche mission was selected for NASA's Discovery #14 mission on 4 January 2017.

Mission overview:

  • The Psyche spacecraft is built with solar electric propulsion and a scientific payload.
  • It is expected to include a magnetometer, a multispectral imager and a gamma-ray spectrometer.

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