ASU wins funding from NASA for two new space missions

Houston, we have a problem

Two ASU space missions have won funding from NASA’s Discovery Program this week.

According to Arizona Public Media, the first mission involves collecting a soil sample from an asteroid (a project that is currently underway on campus) to help explain how planets are formed.

This mission is called “Psyche” and, according to ASU space scientist Linda Elkins-Tanton, will collect this sample from the exposed metallic core of a failed planet.

“We think that’s the core of an early planet that didn’t survive in our solar system, but instead was battered so that all of the rock fell off the outside of it, and what’s left is the core,” said Linda in an interview with AZPM. “This is the only core that we can ever visit, because we’re never going to visit ours, and there’s no other object like it in the whole solar system.”

For the second mission, Lucy, ASU will build a thermal emission spectrometer to study planetary fossils which share Jupiter’s orbit.

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