NASA Psyche mission
A space launch 12 years in the makingFriday the 13th — for a space mission beset by challenges — turned out to be a very lucky day indeed. At precisely 10:19:43 a.m. last Friday, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying a spacecraft destined for a metal-rich asteroid. The Psyche mission, the first NASA deep-space mission led by ASU, is a story of perseverance and inspiration, of art and science, and the possibilities of the unknown.
Lights, camera … Psyche!
Sometimes you have to travel far into the skies to understand what’s deep beneath your feet. That’s one of the reasons ASU is leading NASA’s Psyche mission — set to launch Oct. 12 — a nearly six-year journey to an asteroid of the same name. That metal-rich asteroid might just be the core of a planetesimal, a building block of an early planet. Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton took some time out of the busy lead-up to launch to talk about the mission and what they hope to discover about the asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter.
The eyes of Psyche
The Psyche spacecraft — on a six-year journey to a metal-rich asteroid of the same name — is scheduled to launch the morning of Oct. 5 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. ASU is leading the overall mission, as well as the multispectral imager instrument team. The imager will take approximately 85,000 images in the 26 months Psyche will be in orbit around the asteroid, and those images will help determine whether the asteroid is indeed the core of a small planetesimal that formed early in the history of our solar system, as the Psyche team has hypothesized.