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Friday, May 26, 2017

Mission to an Asteroid Metal World

NASA's Artist Concept of Psyche Spacecraft to an Asteroid
 The Psyche mission is a journey to a unique asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid Psyche is unique that it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the building blocks of our solar system.

The mission is to Analyse the presence of ores, rocky mantles in that Asteroid.This mission is led by Arizona State University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is responsible for mission management, operations and navigation. The spacecraft's solar-electric propulsion chassis will be built by Space Systems Loral with a payloads.

  • Imager
  • Magnetometer
  • Gamma-ray Spectrometer
  • X-band Gravity Science Investigation
  •  Determine whether Psyche is a core, or if it is unmelted material
  • Determine the relatives ages of regions of Pshyche's Surface
  • Determine whether small metal bodies incorporate the same light elements as expected in the Earth's high-pressure core
  • Determine whether Psyche was formed under conditions more oxidizing or more reducing than Earth's core
  • Characterize Psyche's topography.

Mission Launch        : 2022
Solar Electric Cruise : 4.6 years
Arrival at 16 Psyche  : 2026
Observation Period    : 20 months in orbit
Mission Type            : Orbiter
Status                      : Expected
Mission Goal            : A Metal World


2022 - Launch of Psyche
2022 - Psyche spacecraft Earth gravity assist
2023 - Mars Flyby of Psyche spacecraft
2026 - Psyche spacecraft arrives in asteroid's orbit
2026 - 2027 - Psyche spacecraft orbits the Psyche asteroid


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