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Artykuły o NASA Psyche asteroid mission
« dnia: Luty 29, 2020, 08:33 »
Psyche mission clears review
by Jeff Foust — June 15, 2019 Updated 9 a.m. Eastern June 17 with NASA cost estimate. [SN]

Psyche is scheduled to launch in August 2022 to travel to the metallic asteroid of the same name, arriving in 2026. Credit: SSL/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech

WASHINGTON — A NASA mission to a metallic asteroid has passed a major review, but questions remain about its ability to remain on budget and schedule.

NASA announced June 11 that the Psyche mission had been cleared to proceed into Phase C of its development, which includes final system design as well as assembly and testing of the spacecraft and its instruments. The mission had completed a preliminary design review earlier this year.

Falcon Heavy to launch NASA Psyche asteroid mission
by Jeff Foust — February 28, 2020

NASA announced Feb. 28 it will use a Falcon Heavy to launch its Psyche asteroid mission in 2022. Credit: Craig Vander Galien

WASHINGTON — NASA awarded a contract to SpaceX Feb. 28 for the launch of a mission to a large metallic asteroid on the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

NASA said that it will use a Falcon Heavy to launch its Psyche mission in July 2022 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The contract is valued at $117 million, which includes the launch itself and other mission-related costs.

Psyche is one of two missions NASA selected in January 2017 for its Discovery program of relatively low-cost planetary science missions. Psyche will use a Mars flyby in 2023 to arrive at its destination, an asteroid also called Psyche, in January 2026. The spacecraft will go into orbit around the asteroid, one of the largest in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The asteroid is primarily made of iron and nickel, and could be the remnant of a core of a protoplanet that attempted to form there before high-speed collisions with other planetesimals broke it apart. Planetary scientists believe that studies of the asteroid Psyche could help them better understand the formation of the solar system.

The Psyche mission is led by Arizona State University, with Maxar the prime contractor for the spacecraft. The launch will also carry two smallsat secondary payloads: Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (EscaPADE), which will study the Martian atmosphere, and Janus, which will study binary asteroids.

The other mission selected for the Discovery program in 2017, Lucy, will visit Trojan asteroids in the same orbit around the sun as Jupiter. NASA awarded a launch contract to United Launch Alliance in January 2019 for the launch of that mission on an Atlas 5 in October 2021.

SpaceX subsequently filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over that award, arguing that it could have launched the mission for significantly less than the $148.3 million value of the ULA contract. ULA argued that it provided schedule assurance needed for a mission that must launch in a 20-day window. SpaceX dropped the protest in April 2019, nearly two months after it was filed.

Since them, though, SpaceX has enjoyed success winning NASA launch contracts. Within a week of dropping the GAO protest, SpaceX won a contract for the launch of the Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) spacecraft on a Falcon 9. That mission, launching in June 2021, will send a spacecraft to the near Earth asteroid Didymos, deliberately colliding with a small moon orbiting that asteroid to test deflection techniques for planetary defense.

In July 2019, NASA won a contract for the launch of NASA’s Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) astrophysics mission, scheduled for launch on a Falcon 9 in April 2021. That spacecraft was baselined for launch on a much smaller Pegasus rocket from Northrop Grumman, but SpaceX won the contract at a price lower than previous Pegasus missions.

NASA awarded SpaceX a contract Feb. 4 for the launch of its Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Earth science mission on a Falcon 9 in December 2022. NASA awarded that contract despite, less than a week later, stating in its fiscal year 2021 budget proposal it would seek to cancel the mission. PACE had been proposed for cancellation in the previous three years’ budget requests, and each time Congress rejected the cancellation and funded the mission.

Psyche is NASA’s first mission to use SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket as the primary customer, although some NASA payloads flew on the Falcon Heavy STP-2 mission for the Defense Department’s Space Test Program in June 2019. SpaceX’s current manifest for the heavy-lift rocket includes two classified missions for the U.S. Air Force in late 2020 and early 2021 and a ViaSat-3 broadband communications satellite for Viasat in mid-2021.

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Odp: Artykuły o NASA Psyche asteroid mission
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Maj 20, 2022, 09:44 »
Psyche asteroid explorer arrives at Kennedy Space Center for launch preps
May 5, 2022 Stephen Clark [SFN]

NASA’s Psyche spacecraft inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Isaac Watson

A U.S. military cargo plane delivered NASA’s Psyche spacecraft from California to the Kennedy Space Center last week, starting a three-month campaign to ready the asteroid explorer for liftoff on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in August.

The launch preparations at Kennedy will include loading of more than a ton of xenon gas into the Psyche spacecraft, followed by encapsulation of the probe inside SpaceX’s payload fairing before rolling out to pad 39A for integration with a Falcon Heavy launcher.

Launch of NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission delayed to late September
May 23, 2022 Stephen Clark [SFN]

Pam Melroy, NASA’s deputy administrator, visits the Psyche spacecraft undergoing processing May 19 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA-JPL/Wes Kuykendall

The launch of NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission, which was set for Aug. 1 on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, has been delayed to no earlier than Sept. 20 after ground teams discovered an issue during software testing on the spacecraft, officials said Monday.

The robotic asteroid explorer arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on April 29 aboard a U.S. military cargo plane. Then ground teams moved the spacecraft, packed inside a climate-controlled shipping container, to a clean room at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.

Software problem delays NASA Psyche launch
by Jeff Foust — May 24, 2022 [SN]

NASA's Psyche spacecraft, which recently arrived at the Kennedy Space Center to begin launch preparations, will now launch no earlier than Sept. 20, a delay of more than a month and a half. Credit: NASA/Isaac Watson

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The launch of a NASA mission to the asteroid Psyche has been delayed at least a month and a half because of a problem with the spacecraft’s software, the agency confirmed May 23.

Psyche launch delay forcing revamp of rideshare mission
by Jeff Foust — June 9, 2022 [SN]

The twin Janus spacecraft were originally designed to fly by two different binary asteroids, but a delay in the launch of the Psyche mission is forcing scientists to look for new targets. Credit: Lockheed Martin

WASHINGTON — A delay in the launch of NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission is forcing another asteroid mission hitching a ride to revise its plans.

Janus, a NASA smallsat mission selected in 2019, will launch two identical spacecraft as secondary payloads on the Falcon Heavy rocket whose primary payload is Psyche. After a series of Earth flybys, each Janus spacecraft was to fly by different binary asteroids, designated 1996 FG3 and 1991 VH.

Software testing problem delays Psyche launch
by Jeff Foust — June 24, 2022 [SN]

NASA announced June 24 there won't be enough time to test the software on the Psyche spacecraft because its launch window closes in October, delaying the mission’s launch to at least mid-2023. Credit: SSL/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission will not launch this year as previously planned after the agency concluded there was not enough time to complete testing of the spacecraft’s software before its launch window closes.

In a briefing held June 24 on just a few hours’ notice, agency officials said the mission did not have enough time to test guidance, navigation and control (GNC) software on the spacecraft before its launch window closes Oct. 11. NASA had already delayed the launch from Aug. 1 because of the software testing issue.

After software delays, NASA says Psyche asteroid mission won’t launch this year
June 27, 2022 Stephen Clark [SFN]

Artist’s illustration of the Psyche spacecraft at its destination. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s billion-dollar Psyche asteroid mission will not launch this year, officials confirmed Friday, after delays in completing software verification testing for the spacecraft’s guidance, navigation and control system.

Mission officials said the next opportunity to launch the mission to explore Psyche, a metal-rich asteroid, is in July 2023. An independent review panel will evaluate the next steps for the project before NASA leadership decides when, or if, the Psyche mission should continue toward launch.
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