February 26, 2024

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Starts Processing at Kennedy Space Center

The Psyche spacecraft will explore a metal-rich asteroid in between Mars and Jupiter, that is believed to be composed mainly of nickel-iron metal. After showing up in 2026, the spacecraft will invest 21 months orbiting its namesake mapping, asteroid and event information, potentially offering insights on how worlds with a metal core, including Earth, formed.
Maxar is providing the high-power solar electric propulsion spacecraft chassis.

The Psyche spacecraft beings in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida after traveling across the country from a clean room at the agencys Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.Credit: NASA/Isaac Watson
The Psyche spacecraft will explore a metal-rich asteroid between Mars and Jupiter, that is thought to be made up mostly of nickel-iron metal. The objective is targeting an August 1, 2022, launch atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy. After showing up in 2026, the spacecraft will invest 21 months orbiting its name mapping, asteroid and gathering data, potentially providing insights on how worlds with a metal core, consisting of Earth, formed.
Sign up with the journey as NASAs Psyche launches in 2022 to check out a special metal-rich asteroid of the very same name, which is orbiting the sun in between Mars and Jupiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
More About the Mission
Maxar is offering the high-power solar electric propulsion spacecraft chassis. Mind was picked in 2017 as the 14th mission under NASAs Discovery Program.

This artists idea depicts NASAs Psyche spacecraft in area. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
Bound for an asteroid of the very same name, the orbiter spacecraft is going through last preparations for its August launch.
Considering that its arrival on April 29, the Psyche spacecraft has actually moved into the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where service technicians removed it from its protective shipping container, rotated it to vertical, and have started the final actions to prepare the spacecraft for launch.
Over the next couple of months, crews will perform a variety of work consisting of reinstalling solar arrays, reintegrating a radio, testing the telecom system, filling propellants, and encapsulating the spacecraft inside payload fairings before it leaves the facility and moves to the launch pad.