Psyche Mission

Psyche is a planned orbiter mission that will explore the origin of planetary cores by studying the metallic asteroid of the same name. Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University is the principal investigator who proposed this mission for NASA's Discovery Program. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will manage the project. 16 Psyche is the heaviest known M-type asteroid, and was once thought to be the exposed iron core of a protoplanet, the remnant of a violent collision with another object that stripped off its mantle and crust. Today, numerous recent studies have all but ruled that out. Radar observations of the asteroid from Earth indicate an iron–nickel composition. On January 4, 2017, the Psyche mission was selected for NASA's Discovery #14 mission, and launch was scheduled for no earlier than September 20, 2022. On June 24, 2022, the Psyche launch was postponed until at least 2023. As of October 2022, Psyche is scheduled to launch no earlier than October 10, 2023.

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NASA commissions independent review of delayed Psyche mission to metal asteroid

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The Psyche Mission: Visiting a metal asteroid

NASA’s Psyche Mission Moves Forward, Passing Key Milestone

NASA’s Psyche Mission to Explore a Metal-Rich Asteroid Passes Key Milestone