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NASA spacecraft launched to mysterious and rare metal asteroid in first mission of its kind
A NASA spacecraft has rocketed away on a six-year journey to a rare asteroid made of metal
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Psyche spacecraft rocketed away Friday on a six-year journey to a rare metal-covered asteroid.
Most asteroids tend to be rocky or icy, and this is the first exploration of a metal world. Scientists believe it may be the battered remains of an early planet's core, and could shed light on the inaccessible centers of Earth and other rocky planets.
SpaceX launched the spacecraft into a midmorning sky from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Named for the asteroid it’s chasing, Psyche should reach the huge, potato-shaped object in 2029.
After decades of visiting faraway worlds of rock, ice and gas, NASA is psyched to pursue one coated in metal. Of the nine or so metal-rich asteroids discovered so far, Psyche is the biggest, orbiting the sun in the outer portion of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter alongside millions of other space rocks. It was discovered in 1852 and named after Greek mythology’s captivating goddess of the soul.