In visiting Psyche, the biggest metallic asteroid in our solar system, NASA hopes to learn more about the interior of our own planet. Here’s more from Popular Science:
In August, a spacecraft will launch on a 41-month journey to visit Psyche, the biggest metallic asteroid in our solar system. The behemoth is suspected to be the iron-nickel core of a growing planet whose outer layers were stripped in cosmic hit-and-runs. We’ll never get a direct look at Earth’s core—at least not until we develop the superhuman technology to drill down 3,100 miles and withstand temperatures of 9,000°F and pressure 3 million times that of the atmosphere. Psyche, however, offers a chance to stare into a planet’s heart, to learn about the early solar system and the source of magnetic fields like the one that protects Earth from cosmic radiation and perhaps allowed complex life to evolve.
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