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NASA sends a spacecraft to an asteroid worth 10 trillion dollars

NASA sends a spacecraft to an asteroid worth 10 trillion dollars

NASA bears the same name for the first time Space Shuttle Psyche appears to the media. Psyche will be launched towards Mars in August, after which it should reach the asteroid in 2026. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The body is about 280 kilometers wide, and is said to be made largely of minerals, according to scientists. At first they thought Psyche was made up of at least 95 percent minerals, but according to More recent studies It can only be 82.5 percent. This mineral is still more than has been mined in all of human history.

If Psyche turns out to be 95% mineral, will value Of this it could be about ten trillion dollars. For now, that’s just a nice number that serves to show how much metal the asteroid contains. NASA has no plans at the moment to remove asteroids, although it already has one The legal framework ready for the future.

Earth history lesson

To illustrate Psyche’s makeup, NASA is sending the space shuttle to take a closer look at the asteroid. However, the goal is not to explore Psyche for commercial purposes. NASA basically wants to know where the asteroid came from.

According to scientists, Psyche is said to resemble the core of a planet, so NASA sees it as a great opportunity to discover how planets like Earth are formed. The soul may be the nucleus of an early planet that never evolved.

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Scientists believe that all the so-called terrestrial or terrestrial planets in our solar system contain a metal core. However, it is very difficult to study it because it is so deep.

Test phase completed

Since production of the Space Shuttle began last year, many tests have been carried out. Is tested whether giant The solar panels, which are the size of a small tennis court, according to NASA, are working properly. It was also examined whether the space shuttle could handle the harsh conditions in deep space. It has been subjected to “electromagnetic, thermal vacuum, vibration and acoustic shock” tests.

Now it looks like Psyche is ready to start his journey. Once it gets close to its namesake, the spaceship will orbit the asteroid. Monitoring operations will take place there for more than a year and a half.

It is NASA’s first mission to an asteroid made primarily of metal. Scientists hope to confirm that it is indeed the core of a failed planet, how old Psyche is and what are its components.