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Why is NASA sending a spacecraft to a metal world? - Linda T. Elkins-Tanton

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In 2026, an unmanned NASA spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at 16 Psyche, a massive, metallic asteroid floating somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Why is NASA so interested in this heavy metal asteroid? Are we going to mine all that metal, or build a giant space magnet? Linda T. Elkins-Tanton explains how the real answer can be found right under our feet.

What do scientists think the Psyche asteroid is?

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Linda T. Elkins-Tanton
  • Director Eoin Duffy
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Animator Eoin Duffy
  • Modeler Derek Prinzi, Jarmyn Tremellen, Bill Gregory, Alex Kurgano
  • Associate Producer Elizabeth Cox, Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Fact-Checker Brian Gutierrez

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