NASA 'Psyched' to Confirm Mission to ‘Gold Mine Asteroid’

© Maxar/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-CaltecThe massive asteroid 16 Psyche is the subject of a new study by SwRI scientist Tracy Becker, who observed the object at ultraviolet wavelengths.
The massive asteroid 16 Psyche is the subject of a new study by SwRI scientist Tracy Becker, who observed the object at ultraviolet wavelengths. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.11.2022
NASA first proposed a mission to explore 16 Psyche, an asteroid composed of iron and nickel, back in 2014, with the value of these metals contained in the celestial body estimated at a staggering $10 quintillion.
A mission by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the massive metal space rock 16 Psyche – dubbed the "gold mine asteroid" - will go ahead, the space agency has confirmed.
A launch period opening on October 10, 2023, has reportedly been targeted by NASA, after Psyche missed its planned 2022 launch period earlier this year due to a plethora of problems that prompted an internal review.

"NASA takes the cost and schedule commitments of its projects and programs very seriously. We are exploring options for the mission in the context of the Discovery Program, and a decision on the path forward will be made in the coming months,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, told media.

He added that he appreciated the work of the independent review board and the JPL-led team "toward mission success," saying that, "lessons learned from Psyche will be implemented across our entire mission portfolio. I am excited about the science insights Psyche will provide during its lifetime and its promise to contribute to our understanding of our own planet’s core.”
The mission team is described as still completing testing of the spacecraft’s flight software in preparation for the 2023 launch date.

"The new flight profile is similar to the one originally planned for August 2022, using a Mars gravity assist in 2026 to send the spacecraft on its way to the asteroid Psyche. With an October 2023 launch date, the Psyche spacecraft will arrive at the asteroid in August 2029," NASA said.

“I’m extremely proud of the Psyche team. During this review, they have demonstrated significant progress already made toward the future launch date. I am confident in the plan moving forward and excited by the unique and important science this mission will return,” JPL Director Laurie Leshin was cited as adding.
Psyche, lodged in the space between the planets Mars and Jupiter, was originally selected in 2017 as part of the agency’s Discovery Program for low-cost robotic space missions. The 140-mile (226-kilometer) wide asteroid could contain a core of iron, nickel, and gold worth $10,000 quadrillion.
Artist's concept of the Psyche spacecraft, which will conduct a direct exploration of an asteroid thought to be a stripped planetary core. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.01.2017
Get Psyched: NASA Announces Mission to Asteroid Worth Quadrillions of Dollars
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