NASA has successfully launched its Psyche mission, the first-ever U.S. mission to study a metal-rich asteroid. The spacecraft was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is embarking on a six-year journey to reach the metal-rich asteroid Psyche, which is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, approximately 3.5 billion kilometers away. If successful, the spacecraft will be captured by Psyche’s gravity in late July 2029 and begin its prime mission in August. Over the course of about two years, the spacecraft will orbit the asteroid, taking images, mapping the surface, and collecting data to determine its composition. Additionally, the mission includes a technology demonstration called Deep Space Optical Communications to test high-data-rate laser communications for potential use in future NASA missions. Psyche is also notable for being the first NASA scientific mission launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. The mission’s primary objective is to provide insights into the formation of rocky bodies in our solar system.
Source – CGTN