This artist's-concept illustration depicts the spacecraft of NASA's Psyche mission near the mission's target, the metal asteroid Psyche. The artwork was created in May 2017 to show the five-panel solar arrays planned for the spacecraft.

Launch Date 2022
Launch Site Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA
Destination Main Asteroid Belt, 16 Psyche
Type Orbiter
Status In Development
Nation United States
Alternate Names

Goals

Psyche will explore a unique metal asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroid 16 Psyche appears unique because it might be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the building blocks of our solar system.

Deep within rocky, terrestrial planets—including Earth—scientists have detected sings of metallic cores, but these but they are too far below the planets’ mantles and crusts for direct observation. Psyche offers a unique window into the violent history of collisions and accretion that created terrestrial planets.

Accomplishments

This mission is in development.

Key Dates

Mission Timeline
2022: Launch
2023: Mars Flyby
2026: Arrival at Asteroid Psyche
2026-2027: Orbital Mission

Spacecraft

Launch Vehicle: TBD

Spacecraft Mass: TBD

Spacecraft Instruments:

  1. Multispectral Imager

  2. Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer

  3. Magnetometer

  4. X-band Gravity Science Investigation

Additional Resources

NASA News: Psyche

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Psyche

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