NASA will launch a spacecraft Friday to a metal asteroid in hopes of finding diamonds and rubies.
The mysterious metal asteroid — often known as 16 Psyche — is positioned between Mars and Jupiter and it is going to take the spacecraft seven years to achieve the doubtless lucrative rock.
“I hope we would find diamonds and rubies on that asteroid,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said at a press conference.
The spacecraft Falcon Heavy – made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX – was originally scheduled to launch today, but was postponed until Friday as a result of “unfavorable weather conditions,” NASA said.
It will take off on its 4-billion-mile journey on Friday at 10:19 a.m. from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When it reenters Earth, it is going to land in Utah, in response to Nelson.
By May 2026, the spacecraft will fly by Mars and can use the planet’s gravity to slingshot itself toward the asteroid, in response to The Telegraph.
It is anticipated to achieve the rock by 2030, where it is going to spend 26 months in orbit to collect images and record topography.
The potato-shaped asteroid was first discovered in 1852 by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis. The asteroid is special as a result of being “metal wealthy,” NASA scientists said, and may very well be the “core of an early planetesimal.”
Scientists speculate that the rock lost its outer shell after several violent collisions billions of years ago, in response to The Telegraph.
It might be the primary metal object that humankind has ever visited, NASA said.