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The Discovery Program Series: Psyche (PI: Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Arizona State University, Managed by JPL)

10 Nov 2015, 20:00 UTC
The Discovery Program Series: Psyche (PI: Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Arizona State University, Managed by JPL)
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This post is part of a series discussing the recent NASA Discovery Program mission selections for further refinement.  From the 27 proposals submitted in November of 2014, NASA has selected 5 missions for further refinement in the next year. Part 1 of the series focused on the overview of the Discovery refinement selections and an interview with the Lead Program Scientist for the Discovery Program, Dr. Michael New.  Part II will focus on the Psyche Mission (PI: Linda Elkins-Tanton, Arizona State University, Managed by JPL). Mission Overview: PsycheHow did the Earth’s core and the cores of the other terrestrial planets come to be? We cannot observe them directly, but there is one place in the solar system where we can find answers: The metal asteroid Psyche. Every world explored so far has a surface of ice, rock, or gas. Orbiting in the outer main belt at 3 AU, Psyche is large (240 x 185 x 145 km), dense (as high as 7,000 kg/m^3), and made almost entirely of Fe-Ni metal.New meteorite data reveals that metal cores formed within the solar system’s first half million years, and even in very small bodies. Meteorites also reveal that iron meteorite parent bodies produced magnetic ...

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