NASA has announced that it intends to resume its mission to study the asteroid 16 Psyche. Scientists believe that space rocks are a source of iron, nickel and gold with an estimated value of $10 quadrillion. It is about 70 thousand. times the value of the entire global economy.

naturally NASA He does not intend to extract these minerals, but intends to investigate their origin. Experts doubt it Asteroid 16 Psyche may be a fragment orbiting the planet’s former core. They base their assumptions on the fact that its composition is somewhat similar to the core of the Earth.

An asteroid more valuable than global resources

Asteroid 16 Psyche moves in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The object was discovered as early as 1852 by the Italian astronomer Anibal de GasparisHowever, it was only recently that scientists were able to get a closer look at it thanks to images from Hubble telescope.

“Rzeczpospolita”, which branded Her notes to 16 Psyche two years ago, indicated that “if the people of Earth could sell this asteroid and share the profits, every human would become a billionaire.” The diameter of the object is 225 kilometers – unlike similar celestial bodies – It’s not made of rocks and ice. As noted by Rzeczpospolita, the asteroid consists of elements used, among other things, before in the automobile industry, medicine and the production of electronics.

NASA continues its mission

To study the asteroid 16 Psyche, NASA planned to launch a special probe in August 2022. However, problems with the spacecraft program caused this to happen Task suspended indefinitelyAccording to a recent press release of the agency, the launch of the missile is scheduled for October 10, 2023 SpaceX Falcon Heavy. It is she who will launch a device into space to examine the “precious” asteroid.

Although the new launch date is a little over a year late, The expected arrival of 16 Psyches comes more than three years later than expected (2029 instead of the originally planned 2026). It’s about the moment it explodes in Mars’ gravitational field, which the probe must intercept.

At the end of its journey, a NASA instrument will orbit the asteroid and study it using an array of instruments. In this way, scientists hope to determine if the object is indeed part of the planet’s former core. If so, it could be an invaluable opportunity to better understand the interiors of planets like Earth.

Adam Jafar, journalist at Wirtualna Polska

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