Thursday , June 24 2021

NASA is testing a new spacecraft to study asteroids



The final phase of testing of the NASA spacecraft, which will study asteroids, has begun. Maxar Technologies has built the Psyche spacecraft. He is currently in a jet lab in Southern California. The spacecraft will be carried by the SpaceX Heavy Heavy rocket and will be launched in August 2022 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The solar-powered spacecraft will explore an asteroid called 16Psyche, which is in the main asteroid belt of the solar system between Mars and Jupiter, according to Forbes.

The spacecraft is due to reach the asteroid in January 2026. He will spend at least 21 months in its orbit, conducting cartographic surveys and studying the amazing properties of this celestial body.

16 Psyche is located 370 million kilometers from Earth, in the main belt of asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and has a width of about 226 kilometers.

But the peculiarity of the asteroid is not only its large size. Psyche 16 has a surprisingly high content of minerals, which makes it one of the most interesting and valuable asteroids known to astronomers. This was discovered in 1852.

Images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope show that the Psyche 16 is not made of rocks or ice, like most asteroids, but of iron and nickel.

16 Psyche is located 370 million kilometers from Earth, in the main belt of asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and has a width of about 226 kilometers.

But the peculiarity of the asteroid is not only its large size. Psyche 16 has a surprisingly high content of minerals, which makes it one of the most interesting and valuable asteroids known to astronomers. This was discovered in 1852.

Images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope show that the Psyche 16 is not made of rocks or ice, like most asteroids, but of iron and nickel.

It is believed that these are the remnants of the planet’s core, the formation of which has not been completed. Some scientists suggest that due to the content of minerals Psyche 16 can cost up to 10 quintillion US dollars.

The jet lab now houses a chassis the size of a solar electric rocket engine (SEP). This structure will make up 80% of all Psyche space station equipment. The car will be assembled and tested over the next twelve months, after which it will be sent to Florida.

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Source: “Arabs today”




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