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NASA Launches Psyche Mission

NASA Psyche Mission

This week, NASA launched their six-year mission to visit an asteroid called Psyche. Scientists have no idea what the asteroid looks ilke. They think it is shaped like a potato. What interests them is that the asteroid is mostly made of metal. It may be the core of a long destroyed planet. Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Earth have metal cores and scientists are curious if we can learn anything about Earth’s core by studying Psyche.

The asteroid also is famous because it is believed that its metal would be worth more than all the economies on the earth combined, and then some. That’s if it could be mined and the materials returned to Earth.

Psyche was discovered in 1852 by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis. Because it was the 16th asteroid to be discovered, it is sometimes referred to as 16 Psyche. It’s named for the goddess of the soul in ancient Greek mythology, often depicted as a butterfly-winged female figure. Psyche was one of nine asteroids discovered by de Gasparis.

NPR Source: https://www.npr.org/2023/10/11/1204867862/this-next-nasa-mission-to-an-asteroid-is-seriously-metal

NASA Psyche Mission: https://science.nasa.gov/mission/psyche/

NASA Psyche Participation: https://science.nasa.gov/mission/psyche/ways-to-participate/

Annibale de Gasparis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annibale_de_Gasparis