NASA’s Psyche mission, which aims to explore a metal-rich asteroid, has been rescheduled to launch on October 12, after a one-week delay caused by an issue with the spacecraft’s thrusters. The problem was related to potential overheating, but fortunately, it was resolved through a simple update to the flight computer. While this update means that maneuvers in space will take longer, it won’t affect the overall mission.
Scheduled to arrive at the asteroid in August 2029, Psyche’s target is believed to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet. To control the spacecraft’s momentum and orientation, the mission is equipped with 12 thrusters. Had the issue not been detected and resolved promptly, it could have potentially caused damage to the spacecraft.
Ensuring a quick resolution to the thruster issue was crucial to avoid missing the launch window, which only lasts between October 12 and 25. The mission, originally intended for launch in 2022, faced previous setbacks due to flight software and testing equipment issues. However, Psyche is now back on track and set to launch at 10:16 a.m. ET on October 12.
Stay tuned for more updates on NASA’s Psyche mission as it embarks on this exciting exploration of a metal-rich asteroid.
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