PSYCHE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     17th October 2023        
Samadhaan

Context: NASA has launched a spacecraft called ‘Psyche’ on a six-year mission to study a unique metal-rich asteroid also named ‘Psyche.’

Psyche

  • About: Psyche is the name of both an asteroid and a Nasa mission
  • Asteroid Psyche: It is a unique metal-rich object.

oThis asteroid orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. 

oIt is about 173 miles (279 kilometres) wide and is thought to be the exposed core of an early planet that never fully formed.

  • Mission Psyche four Objectives

oUnderstand a previously unexplored building block of planet formation: iron cores.

oLook inside terrestrial planets, including Earth, by directly examining the interior of a differentiated body, which otherwise could not be seen.

oExplore a new type of world. For the first time, examine a world made not of rock and ice, but metal.

oDetermine whether Psyche is a core, or if it is unmelted material.

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