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Strange Metal Asteroid Targeted in Far-Out NASA Mission Concept

One of the strangest objects in the solar system may get its first closeup in the coming years. A team of scientists is mapping out a mission to the huge metallic asteroid Psyche, which is thought to be the exposed iron core of a battered and stripped protoplanet. The proposed mission would reveal insights about planet formation processes and the early days of the solar system, its designers say, and would also afford the first-ever good look at an odd class of celestial objects. "This is the first metal world humankind will have ever seen," team member Lindy Elkins-Tanton, director of the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, told SPACE.com last month at the American Geophysical Union's annual fall meeting in San Francisco. "I think this is an opportunity to do some fundamental science that hasn't been done before." via Yahoo News.

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