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WASHINGTON, Sep 6 NASA plans to launch a mission to the metallic asteroid Psyche on October 5, a scientist told a press conference Wednesday. mission leader Henry Stone.
“We are preparing for launch on October 5th,” a NASA official said. The satellite will be launched by a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral.
It is planned that the probe's journey to Psyche, which is three times farther from Earth than Mars, will take several years.
“We have a long journey ahead of us, the asteroid Psyche is located in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter,” the scientist explained. According to experts, the device will reach the orbit of the asteroid only in the summer of 2029, after which it will fly around it at various altitudes, the maximum approach to its surface is expected to be about 65 kilometers. It is planned that the probe will be in orbit of the asteroid for about 26 months, the official end of the main mission of the device is now scheduled for November 2031.
It is planned that during its work in the orbit of the asteroid, the probe will not only take pictures, but also measure the magnetosphere and collect other data.
NASA emphasizes that the flight to Psyche will be the first attempt by earthlings to study a cosmic body, which, as it is now believed, is mostly parts have a metal surface.
“The probe will visit and see a metal-rich asteroid for the first time in history,” NASA Planetary Exploration Officer Laurie Gleizes said at a briefing Wednesday.
As NASA said in connection with the imminent launch of the mission, work on it has been underway since 2011, during which time more than 2 thousand scientists, engineers and other specialists from NASA and other countries have taken part in it.
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