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NASA’s Psyche Starts Processing at Kennedy

Since its arrival on April 29, the Psyche spacecraft has moved into the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where technicians removed it from its protective shipping container, rotated it to vertical, and have begun the final steps to prepare the spacecraft for launch. In the coming months, crews will perform a range of work including reinstalling solar arrays, reintegrating a radio, testing the telecommunications system, loading propellants, and encapsulating the spacecraft inside payload fairings before it leaves the facility and moves to the launch pad.

The Psyche spacecraft will explore a metal-rich asteroid between Mars and Jupiter, made largely of nickel-iron metal. The mission is targeting an Aug. 1 launch atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy. After arriving in 2026, the spacecraft will spend 21 months orbiting its namesake asteroid, mapping and gathering data, potentially providing insights on how planets with a metal core, including Earth, formed.

More About the Mission

Arizona State University leads the Psyche mission. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California, is responsible for the mission’s overall management, system engineering, integration and test, and mission operations. Maxar is providing the high-power solar electric propulsion spacecraft chassis. Psyche was selected in 2017 as the 14th mission under NASA’s Discovery Program.

For more information about NASA’s Psyche mission go to:

http://www.nasa.gov/psyche

and

https://psyche.asu.edu/


Source: JPL

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