Title: NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Faces Delay in Launch Due to Thruster Issue
In a setback for NASA’s ambitious Psyche mission, the launch of its spacecraft has been pushed back from October 5 to October 12. This delay comes as the space agency discovered an issue with the thrusters, which are pivotal for controlling the spacecraft’s momentum and orientation.
The decision to reschedule the launch was made in order to give NASA enough time to verify the parameters used to control the Psyche spacecraft’s nitrogen cold gas thrusters. These parameters had to be adjusted in response to updated temperature predictions. To ensure a successful launch, NASA will rerun simulations and fine-tune the adjustments before moving forward with the mission.
Originally planned for 2022, the Psyche mission faced previous delays due to flight software and testing equipment issues. With the current delay, the spacecraft is now expected to reach the Psyche asteroid in August 2029, benefiting from a Mars gravity assist maneuver.
Once the spacecraft reaches its destination, it will carry out an extensive study of the Psyche asteroid, which is believed to be the core of a shattered planetesimal. Equipped with advanced instruments, including a multispectral imager, a gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer, a magnetometer, and a radio instrument, it aims to map the asteroid and unravel its mysteries.
NASA urges space enthusiasts and followers to keep tabs on their updates and visit the dedicated Spaceflight page on Gizmodo for further information. This delay, while disappointing, underscores the meticulousness and dedication of the space agency in ensuring the success of the groundbreaking Psyche mission, which promises to unlock significant insights into the formation of celestial bodies.
Stay tuned for more news on the Psyche spacecraft as it overcomes this hurdle and embarks on its mission to explore the enigmatic Psyche asteroid.