NASA is currently placing the finishing touches on the design plans which will be used for the construction of a new spacecraft called Psyche. The device will be tasked with the exploration of a fascinating asteroid which shares the same name. It is thought that the asteroid may have been the metallic core of a planet similar to Mars, but the young planet met its demise in the early days of the solar system.
It is estimated that the spacecraft will be launched in 2022 and many researchers are looking forward to the information that could be discovered. It is anticipated that the instruments mounted on the spacecraft will convey valuable observations and measurement s which could be used to shed a bit of light on the elusive nature of the asteroid.
The Psyche asteroid might have been the metallic core of a Mars-like planet
There are also a few theories available. Some of the researchers think that the asteroid could feature fragments from the mantle and other layers of the original planet. It may also sport volcanic craters, which surfaced when the molten iron was exposed to the harsh conditions of the void and froze. Layers of magma remained below this layer and tried to escape it, giving birth to larger craters sprinkled on the surface of the asteroid.
It is likely that the asteroid may have retained a large percentage of its heat after the external layers were removed during a catastrophic impact. The study of impact events, which include collisions between various space objects, is a crucial part of any research which focuses on planets.
Planetary scientists are fascinated by this topic, and the chance to study the surface of an asteroid covered in metal is unique. They observed meteors and crafted metals in the past, but the sheer scale of Psyche can dramatically alter some of the current theories if remarkable data is unearthed. It remains to be seen if the spacecraft will manage to reach the asteroid without incidents.
The construction of the spacecraft will start in May.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here