Jet Propulsion Laboratory SpecialistsThe US Aerospace Agency NASA approved a technical design document for a project of a new spacecraft designed to study the very mysterious small celestial body - the asteroid Psyche. Development of the device should begin as early as next month. The mission to Psyche is scheduled to launch in 2022, according to the portal Smithsonian.com. The probe should reach the object in 2026. What exactly is NASA interested in this asteroid?
According to the aerospace agency,in the main asteroid belt, the object, named Psyche, is a metal core of a very ancient planetary body, planetozymal, destroyed at the dawn of the formation of the Solar System before it could develop into a full-fledged planet. Some catastrophic collisions of an object with other celestial bodies could have led to this. At the same time, as scientists believe, the object can retain signs of ferrovolcanism, which occurred in its distant past.
In fact, planetologists know very little aboutthis facility, so they expect to learn more about it through the new mission. The study of the object, the researchers note, will help to better understand the history of our solar system. According to one of the assumptions, as a result of collision with other celestial bodies, the outer layers of the exposed molten core of Psyche, cooled by the cold space of space, cooled and solidified, forming a solid iron crust. Scientists want to study it closer.
"We do not imagine that we can actuallydiscover, so will prepare for everything. The tools of our device will allow us to carry out all the necessary scientific measurements and observations that will bring together the history of this object, ”comments Jim Bell, curator of the Psyche project for the spacecraft. explore).
According to the source, the probe "Psyche" will be equipped with a spectrometer and other scientific equipment.
According to Bell, Psyche after a collision withother celestial bodies, deprived of its shell, could save some residual heat in their depths. Scientists believe that in the framework of the mission at the facility will be able to find reserves of nickel and possibly sulfur.
The mission "Psyche" was selected as a potentialinteresting at the beginning of 2017 in the framework of the Discovery program - a series of low-cost, robotic space projects that explore the solar system. The cost of preparing and implementing a new mission is estimated by NASA at $ 750 million.
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