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Thread: Psyche - NASA's mission to the metal asteroid Psyche.

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    Psyche - NASA's mission to the metal asteroid Psyche.

    NASA is all go for this mission and brought forward the launch date by one year.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NA...eroid_999.html

    Psyche, NASA's Discovery Mission to a unique metal asteroid, has been moved up one year with launch in the summer of 2022, and with a planned arrival at the main belt asteroid in 2026 - four years earlier than the original timeline.

    "We challenged the mission design team to explore if an earlier launch date could provide a more efficient trajectory to the asteroid Psyche, and they came through in a big way," said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This will enable us to fulfill our science objectives sooner and at a reduced cost."

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    Psyche is METAL! (throws horns)
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Now to hollow it out and turn it into the mother of all HLLVs
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ex...eroid_999.html
    Last edited by publiusr; 2017-Jul-28 at 09:03 PM.

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    Read about Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the principal investigator for Psyche.

    http://news.mit.edu/2017/nasa-psyche...-asteroid-0726

    Lindy Elkins-Tanton ’87, SM ’87, PhD ’02 is reaching for the stars — literally. She is the principal investigator for Psyche, a NASA mission that will explore an unusual metal asteroid known as 16 Psyche.

    The mission does not launch until 2023, but preparations have begun in collaboration with faculty in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). Professors Benjamin Weiss and Maria Zuber, who also serves as MIT's vice president for research, wrote a paper about the asteroid with Elkins*-Tanton that was the basis for the team’s selection for NASA’s Discovery Program. MIT Professor Richard Binzel is also a team member.

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    ...and Maria Zuber, who also serves as MIT's vice president for research, wrote a paper about the asteroid with Elkins*-Tanton that was the basis for the team’s selection for NASA’s Discovery Program.
    Ah, Maria Zuber. Back when Mars Global Surveyor reached Mars, and the MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) instrument collected its first datasets, that data was put on a publicly accessible server. I was working for an educational project and it needed Mars topographic data for one of the modules. I found the data via an internet search (this was 1999) and downloaded the raw files. I had to come up with some fancy trickery in Photoshop and an early version of IfranView(?) to get the data ingested at all. I then asked Dr. Zuber for help in understanding the data and MOLA, and I received a scathing e-mail from her, CC'd to my boss, about stealing the data and how dare I and etc. She was afraid I was scooping their research and publications, which was not my intent! Internet and FTP security being what it was back then (i.e., non-existent) meant anyone could have grabbed that data. They subsequently removed the data, and we never did use the MOLA data in that educational module. But I kept in on my system and played with it for the next year or so, making some pretty cool elevation and topography maps that, IM(ns)HO were better than the first iteration the MGS team came up with.

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    Psyche Mission to begin the final design and fabrication phase.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ps...ights_999.html

    Designed to explore a metal asteroid that could be the heart of a planet, the Psyche mission is readying for a 2022 launch. After extensive review, NASA Headquarters in Washington has approved the mission to begin the final design and fabrication phase, otherwise known as Phase C. This is when the Psyche team finalizes the system design, develops detailed plans and procedures for the spacecraft and science mission, and completes both assembly and testing of the spacecraft and its subsystems.

    "The Psyche team is not only elated that we have the go-ahead for Phase C, more importantly we are ready," said Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University in Tempe. "With the transition into this new mission phase, we are one big step closer to uncovering the secrets of Psyche, a giant mysterious metallic asteroid, and that means the world to us."
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    "Journey to a metallic world: New observations suggest Psyche’s composition different than thought"

    https://asunow.asu.edu/20200406-journey-metallic-world

    In a study recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, lead author Lindy Elkins-Tanton of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and her team, including ASU researchers Jim Bell, Hannah Bercovici, Steven Dibb and David Williams, analyzed new observations of Psyche’s physical properties and determined that Psyche may be different in composition than originally thought.

    “Some years ago, the consensus was that Psyche was almost entirely metal, but this recent compilation of current data indicates that Psyche is a mixture of rock and metal,” said Elkins-Tanton.

    For their analysis, the team combined new observations of Psyche including data on density, radar properties and spectral signatures with data from meteorites and models for planetesimal formation.
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    "NASA's Psyche mission moves forward, passing key milestone"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...stone_999.html

    NASA's Psyche mission has passed a critical milestone that moves it a step closer to launch. After an intense review of the mission's progress in building its science instruments and engineering systems, Psyche won clearance to progress into what NASA calls Phase D of its life cycle - the final phase of operations prior to its scheduled launch in August 2022.

    Until now, the mission has focused on planning, designing, and building the body of the spacecraft, its solar-electric propulsion system, the three science instruments, electronics, the power subsystem, and the like. The successful review of those elements means the mission can now begin delivering components to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the mission and will test, assemble, and integrate each piece.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "NASA's Psyche mission moves forward, passing key milestone"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...stone_999.html
    Good to hear it is progressing. We could learn a lot from this mission.

    I posted a view on the potential of Psyche in the Asteroid Mining thread....

    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...48#post2522448

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    The mission still has three phases to go through. Phase D, which will start in 2021, includes the final assembly and testing of the spacecraft, as well as a launch in August 2022. Phase E, which begins shortly after Psyche enters space. It covers mission operations in space and scientific data collection. Finally, phase F will begin after the mission has completed its scientific activities; it includes both the decommissioning of the spacecraft and the archiving of engineering and scientific data.

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    What is Psyche made of? Here's the most recent guess... but it isn't solid iron.

    Mass and Density of Asteroid (16) Psyche

    Lauri Siltala, Mikael Granvik

    We apply our novel Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC)-based algorithm for asteroid mass estimation to asteroid (16) Psyche, the target of NASA's eponymous Psyche mission, based on close encounters with 10 different asteroids, and obtain a mass of (1.117±0.039)×10−11 solar masses. We ensure that our method works as expected by applying it to asteroids (1) Ceres and (4) Vesta, and find that the results are in agreement with the very accurate mass estimates for these bodies obtained by the Dawn mission. We then combine our mass estimate for Psyche with the most recent volume estimate to compute the corresponding bulk density as (3.88±0.25) g/cm3. The estimated bulk density rules out the possibility of Psyche being an exposed, solid iron core of a protoplanet, but is fully consistent with the recent hypothesis that ferrovolcanism would have occurred on Psyche.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.01707
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    What is Psyche made of? Here's the most recent guess... but it isn't solid iron.

    Mass and Density of Asteroid (16) Psyche

    Lauri Siltala, Mikael Granvik

    We apply our novel Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC)-based algorithm for asteroid mass estimation to asteroid (16) Psyche, the target of NASA's eponymous Psyche mission, based on close encounters with 10 different asteroids, and obtain a mass of (1.117±0.039)×10−11 solar masses. We ensure that our method works as expected by applying it to asteroids (1) Ceres and (4) Vesta, and find that the results are in agreement with the very accurate mass estimates for these bodies obtained by the Dawn mission. We then combine our mass estimate for Psyche with the most recent volume estimate to compute the corresponding bulk density as (3.88±0.25) g/cm3. The estimated bulk density rules out the possibility of Psyche being an exposed, solid iron core of a protoplanet, but is fully consistent with the recent hypothesis that ferrovolcanism would have occurred on Psyche.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.01707
    "Asteroid 16 Psyche Might Not Be What Scientists Expected"

    https://news.arizona.edu/story/aster...tists-expected

    The widely studied metallic asteroid known as 16 Psyche was long thought to be the exposed iron core of a small planet that failed to form during the earliest days of the solar system. But new University of Arizona-led research suggests that the asteroid might not be as metallic or dense as once thought, and hints at a much different origin story.

    Scientists are interested in 16 Psyche because if its presumed origins are true, it would provide an opportunity to study an exposed planetary core up close. NASA is scheduled to launch its Psyche mission in 2022 and arrive at the asteroid in 2026.
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