NASA is scheduled to launch its Psyche mission next week, the first-ever mission to study a metal-rich asteroid, APA reports citing Xinhua.
Psyche aims to help scientists learn more about the formation of rocky bodies in the solar system, said NASA.
The Psyche spacecraft is slated to launch next Thursday, Oct. 12, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will travel 2.2 billion miles to a metal-rich asteroid in the far reaches of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The spacecraft has three science instruments to investigate the asteroid, including the magnetometer that will look for evidence of an ancient magnetic field at Psyche; the gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer that will help determine the chemical elements that make up the asteroid; and the multispectral imager that will provide information about the mineral composition and topography of Psyche.
Once the spacecraft reaches Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, it will spend about 26 months orbiting the asteroid, gathering images and other data that will tell scientists more about its history and what it is made of, according to NASA.