It’s true, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch a spacecraft to survey 16 Psyche, one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Researchers have discovered that it could be worth $10-quintillion dollars ($10,000,000,000,000,000,000 – 19 zeros). However, this mission has to clear three more phases, starting with Phase D, which includes final spacecraft assembly / testing, along with the August 2022 launch. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Next, Phase E starts after Psyche hits the vacuum of space, covering the mission’s deep-space operations and science collection. Lastly, Phase F happens after the mission has completed its science operations and includes both decommissioning the spacecraft and archiving engineering as well as science data. Psyche is made of mostly of iron and nickel, similar to Earth’s core
The Psyche team is not only elated that we have the go-ahead for Phase C, more importantly we are ready. With the transition into this new mission phase, we are one big step closer to uncovering the secrets of Psyche, a giant mysterious metallic asteroid, and that means the world to us,” said Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University in Tempe.