Starting off with a bang, NASA’s $1.2 billion project
Launched on Friday via a Falcon Heavy rocket, the spacecraft embarked on a journey of 2.2 billion miles into space towards a unique asteroid rich in metals. This asteroid could potentially provide insight on the formation of rocky planets such as Earth.
Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the principal investigator, stated that we will explore a new ingredient that has not been studied before. This material is responsible for making our Earth habitable and it is found in the core of our planet as well as other rocky planets. Sadly, we cannot physically visit these cores, but it is still important for us to gain knowledge about them.
Psyche is the largest metallic object in our solar system, making it the ideal destination for studying our cores.
Following the outbreak of COVID and a last-minute delay of 24 hours due to stormy conditions on Thursday, the Psyche mission officially began at 10:19 a.m. EDT as the SpaceX Falcon Heavy’s 27 engines roared to life, releasing a powerful blast of fiery exhaust.