NASA will continue the mission to the asteroid Psyche

(ORDO NEWS) — On Friday, NASA announced that the agency had decided to continue with its Psyche mission. The launch is scheduled for October 10, 2023.

Psyche’s 2022 launch was canceled due to mission development issues that led to internal review. NASA was considering whether the mission could overcome the difficulties for a successful launch in 2023.

Consideration of continuing/terminating Psyche was prompted by a proposal to reschedule the mission, and NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) commissioned a separate independent review in June.

The mission team continues testing the spacecraft’s software in preparation for a 2023 launch. The new flight path is similar to that originally planned in August 2022.

Scientists will use the Mars gravity assist system in 2026 to send a spacecraft to the asteroid Psyche. If the mission is launched in October 2023, the Psyche spacecraft will arrive at the asteroid in August 2029.

NASA chose this mission in 2017 to study a metal-rich asteroid. Psyche is part of the Discovery program, a series of low-cost, competitive missions.

NASA continues to evaluate the capabilities of its Janus mission, which explores binary asteroid systems. The launch of the mission was originally planned on the same SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket as Psyche.

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