SpaceX Launches $1 Billion Asteroid Mission to Explore Metal World

SpaceX Launches $1 Billion Asteroid Mission to Explore Metal World

Oct.13 : SpaceX successfully launched its mighty Falcon Heavy rocket on Friday, embarking on a NASA mission set to explore the distant asteroid known as Psyche. This NASA mission, bearing the same name as the asteroid, will carry a spacecraft roughly the size of a tennis court on an epic journey spanning nearly six years and covering a distance of approximately 2.2 billion miles, with a scheduled arrival at the asteroid in July 2029.

The launch event occurred at 10:19 a.m. ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s primary objective with this mission is to investigate the composition of Psyche, which the agency characterizes as “an unusual object likely rich in metal.” The Psyche spacecraft is equipped with a suite of scientific instruments tailored for studying the asteroid’s magnetic field and chemical composition.

This mission comes with a price tag of around $1.2 billion, which includes expenses for development and operations. NASA awarded SpaceX a contract worth approximately $131 million for the crucial task of launching the Psyche mission. Notably, this launch marks the eighth deployment of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which stands as the company’s most potent operational rocket. SpaceX successfully retrieved the rocket’s twin side boosters, signifying their readiness for future missions.

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