The 16 Psyche mission is back on, and NASA plans to launch it by the end of the year. The asteroid Psyche is about 140 miles across and has a lot of metal in it.
The asteroid 16 Psyche goes around the sun somewhere in space between Mars and Jupiter. And NASA will soon be going there.
The mission is a chance to learn about the science and possible mining potential of an asteroid with a lot of metals.
The 140-mile-wide asteroid, which looks like a potato, may be the core of a broken planet. It's not easy to get to the core of a planet because it's usually surrounded by many layers.
Researchers think that 16 Psyche may be what's left after a space collision stripped off the outer layers, leaving this possible core about 235 million to 309 million miles from the sun.
NASA had planned to send the Psyche spacecraft to the rock last year, but a delay in the spacecraft's software parts has pushed the mission launch back to October of this year.
NASA plans to study the asteroid with a variety of tools, such as multispectral cameras, Gamma Ray and neutron spectrometers, and magnetometers, once the spaceship gets close to the asteroid.
And there's something else about such a big piece of iron and nickel that's enticing: it's a big piece of metal and nickel.
Lindy Elkins-Tanton of NASA said that the metal could be worth $10,000 quadrillion in 2020.
Along with iron and nickel, there could be a lot of other valuable metals like gold, platinum, iridium, and more.