Who says that space agencies can deliver their ‘toys’ and eventually humans only to planets and moons? NASA plans to land some gear on a peculiar asteroid, and for that, it decided to join forces with SpaceX. The Falcon Heavy rocket is designed and manufactured by SpaceX, and it will help NASA to reach the Psyche metallic asteroid by 2026.
The Psyche mission will be launched in July 2022 from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. In 2023, the spacecraft will use a Mars flyby to arrive to the asteroid.
The Psyche asteroid is huge and metallic
There’s no wonder why anyone would want to land on an asteroid. You might need some gravity, and Psyche is able to provide it. The asteroid is huge, it’s one of the biggest asteroids from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and it has primarily iron and nickel within its composition. Psyche is even suspected to be the remnant of a core of a protoplanet.
However, it will be odd to go that far away into space only to land some gear on a metallic asteroid. The launch will also carry two secondary payloads, and one of their goals is to study once again the atmosphere of Mars. More and more specialists are seriously taking into account the idea of sending humans to Mars, so we’ll slowly be able to build a colony there. Unfortunately or not, this would be a very long process, and before that, humanity needs as much information about the Red Planet as it can get.
Our planet Earth, unfortunately, seems to become daily a more dangerous place to live. Climate change, armed conflicts among states, diseases, and the corruption from most of the countries are all very worrying. Therefore, finding another planet to colonize seems to be an option in the far future. Hopefully, NASA’s Psyche mission will bring back to us some useful information about Mars.