NASA's Getting Ready to Explore the Corpse of an Ancient Planet in the Asteroid Belt | 1/31/2026 | Rafi Letzter
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The naked metallic core of a dead, early planet should soon get a visitor. Orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter, the bizarre space rock is the target of a NASA mission that just entered its final design phase this week.

The space agency has targeted the date of Jan. 31, 2026, for the arrival of a spacecraft in the neighborhood of Psyche, a 125-mile-wide (200 kilometers) object in the asteroid belt. Planetary scientists have long suspected that Psyche — named after the nymph who married Cupid in Greek mythology — made up almost entirely of iron and nickel, might be the exposed core of a long-dead protoplanet from the early days of our solar system. The planet could have once boasted...
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