Information about the NASA mission to 16 people just became much more relevant as we are less than a month from the formal approval of the official review. In other words – we are still in the planning phase, but at this point we have no opportunity to go back, so to speak. The mission is aimed at an asteroid in our native large asteroid belt, an asteroid named 16 Psyche – and it costs about $ 10,000 a quadrillion USD for the metal in the contents.
The name of the asteroid is "16 Psyche", and the spacecraft of the mission is The Psyche. The ship was reviewed by Maxar Technologies in a five-day assessment at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This was a preliminary review of the project where it was confirmed that the space vehicle project "meets the Agency's mission requirements".
The mission will be a great collaboration between NASA's JPL, Arizona State University's Earth and Space Research School, and Maxar Technologies. They will analyze the structure of the asteroid and all its very, very valuable metal.
The real mission of the mission is not really to throw out the asteroid for its super precious metals. The aim of the mission is to determine the plausibility that 16 Psyche is the core of a planet-sized object. The theory is that 16 Psyche was once the nucleus of a planet that was about the size of Mars.
The conceptual work for this mission begins in 2016. Preliminary projects are to be implemented in 2017 and by 2019. The next is the final design and phase of a subsystem, installation and testing. Very early in 2021 it is expected that the assembling and testing of instruments and spacecraft will begin.
The Psyche spacecraft is scheduled to be transported to the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida in the first half of 2022.
The mission is at the stage of final design and production and we will know more in May 2019. If everything goes according to plan, we will see the arrival of the Psyche spacecraft in January 2026!