Scientists to explore asteroid belt with nanoprobes

A mission study by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) outlines a plan to explore an asteroid belt with nano-spacecraft, reported Popular Mechanics.

The asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter, and contains of over 1.1 million rocks – each with a diameter of over 1km.

The plan would see 50 nanoprobes powered by solar sails exploring the largest asteroids in the belt for three years.

After the mission, the probes would return to Earth to deliver images and spectroscopy readings.

FMI’s Pekka Janhunen estimated the total mission cost at $72 million, significantly cheaper than traditional interplanetary spacecraft launches.

Now read: Elon Musk unveils the SpaceX spacesuit

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Scientists to explore asteroid belt with nanoprobes