Psyche and Spacecraft

The Psyche mission will explore one of the most intriguing targets in the main asteroid belt – a giant metal asteroid, known as 16 Psyche, about three times farther away from the Sun than is the Earth. This asteroid measures about 130 miles in diameter and, unlike most other asteroids that are rocky or icy bodies, it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of a protoplanet, one of the building blocks of the Sun's planetary system. At Psyche scientists will explore, for the first time ever, a world made not of rock or ice, but of metal.