After being delayed due to delays in the delivery of software and equipment, NASA’s Psyche mission has just departed for space. Initially, plans called for the mission to depart yesterday, but due to weather conditions, the North American space agency team ended up postponing it until today.
The mission that will explore the mysterious metallic asteroid Psyche is headed into space on the back of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocketWhich was launched from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Click on the images to see the launch of the Psyche mission
Minutes after launch, the Falcon Heavy’s first and second stages separated. After ignition of the second stage engine The rocket’s side boosters, which had separated in the meantime, returned to Earth. Landing at the Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
As the mission progressed, the second stage engine was shut down. NASA Explains that The engine was turned on again to give the spacecraft leading the mission the necessary thrust to leave Earth’s gravity. From that moment, the ship separated from the Falcon Heavy’s second stage, and the Psyche probe continued to follow its path.
The asteroid Psyche, with a diameter of 226 kilometers, is located in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter It was chosen as a subject of study in 2017, as part of NASA’s Discovery Program. Psyche has been interesting to researchers It is believed that studying it could provide new answers about the beginning of the solar system.
Data obtained through radar allowed us to obtain more information about Psyche, but when observed through ground-based telescopes, the asteroid appears as a diffuse blur. Analysis of reflected light has led scientists to believe that Psyche is rich in minerals. One possible explanation is that the asteroid formed at the beginning of the solar system.
The probe that will study the breath is equipped with a variety of tools, Including a magnetometer to measure any magnetic field and image generators to photograph and map the asteroid’s surface. There are also spectrometers to help understand surface components.
Click on the pictures to see more details
NASA’s mission will travel through space for six years until it reaches the asteroid’s orbit. Nine months after launch, the Psyche mission will sail beyond Mars, using the planet’s gravitational pull to “launch” towards the asteroid, on a journey of about 2.4 billion kilometres.
As the probe begins to approach Psyche, The cameras will be turned on, which will help record high-resolution images of the asteroid for the first time. The mission is expected to reach this point in 2029, after which it will spend about 26 months.
Editor’s Note: The news has been updated with more information. (Last updated: 4:45 p.m.)
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