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Thread: 16 Psyche - core remnant of a larger parent body?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    16 Psyche - core remnant of a larger parent body?

    I didn't know such an object existed!

    If 16 Psyche is the core remnant of a larger parent body shouldn't we send a mission to explore it.
    Is it just a 200 km diameter lump of pure iron–nickel or would have other structures?
    Would we learn anything about the core of the terrestrial planets from such a mission?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16_Psyche

  2. #2
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    Feb 2005
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    Nice place to mine for metals.

  3. #3
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    I've been interested in M-type asteroids for a long time, and not just because of their hypothetical economic value; a metal shard that's billions of years old could display landforms and surface materials quite unlike anything we've seen before. They of course also fill in the blanks on the process of planetoid formation and differentiation. Psyche itself is a very tempting target, but IIRC there are a few M-type NEOs that would be slightly easier initial forays.
    Last edited by Romanus; 2012-Apr-21 at 06:16 PM.

  4. #4
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    A way to liberate some material--and this would scare the crap out of people--would be to stage a collision with a smaller asteroid to spall off huge amounts of the stuff towards the inner solar system for harvest. Knock shards of this up--and you have less of a gravity well. With some splinters more or less on their way to Earth anyway--you just need minor thrusters to line them up for bagging.

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