NASA showed the media the Psyche spacecraft, which will be launched to the asteroid of the same name in August.
The demonstration took place in a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). At the moment the project is at the final stage. In the summer, the device will be sent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Psyche will be launched in August. In May 2023, it will perform a gravity assist near Mars, and reach its destination in early 2026, entering orbit around the asteroid Psyche, where it will stay for almost two years.
Psyche is a unique object in the solar system, which is often called the most expensive asteroid. The bottom line is that it is mostly composed of iron and nickel. Because of this, with a size that is far from record-breaking for our system (diameter about 250 km), the asteroid is one of the heaviest among those known – Psyche accounts for almost 1% of the mass of all objects in the asteroid belt.
Presumably, we are talking about the core of a larger body, which was formed at the dawn of the solar system, but was destroyed as a result of a collision with another body.
The mass of the asteroid is about 2.27*10nineteen kg. Given the composition of the object, its conditional price, according to some estimates, could be about 700 quintillion dollars.