Psyche launches into space, heading for the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system

The goal of exploration is the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system

After Psyche separated from the final part of the rocket, the vehicle spent about an hour exposing its solar panels. Until the length of the vehicle becomes equal to the length of a tennis court.

Psyche is also NASA’s first solar system probe with an electric propulsion system. Made of solar panels

Psyche was scheduled to launch in October 2022, but NASA delayed the plans due to problems with the spacecraft’s software. Therefore, the launch date of the rocket was postponed to October 5, 2023, and there was a problem with the temperature control system of the vehicle’s cold gas engine. It was even postponed to October 12, but due to unfavorable weather conditions, the missile launch schedule had to be postponed to the next day.

The Psyche spacecraft aims to explore the “Psyche asteroid” (official name: 16 Psyche), which is the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system, with dimensions of about 278 x 232 x 164 kilometers, and scientists do not know much about this asteroid. But it turns out that the surface of this asteroid consists mostly of iron and nickel. Scientists speculate that this metallic asteroid was once the “core” of the material that would eventually form planets. (Protoplanet) Scientists hope that careful study of asteroid Psyche will help better understand how planets form and evolve.

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