Author Topic: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion  (Read 107407 times)

Offline Star One

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NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« on: 04/18/2019 03:33 pm »
This mission doesn’t appear to have a dedicated thread.

edit/gongora: Previous discussion in these threads:
   NASA Selects Two Missions [Lucy and Psyche] to Explore the Early Solar System
   NASA 2015 Discovery proposals


NASA Prepares to Build Spacecraft Bound for a Metal Asteroid

Quote
The dead, metallic heart of an ancient, obliterated Mars circles the sun—and in 2022, NASA will launch a mission to the asteroid belt to explore it. The Psyche spacecraft, which will visit an asteroid of the same name, recently passed its preliminary design review at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Next month, NASA headquarters will decide whether or not to give the Arizona State University-led project permission to begin bending metal for the spacecraft.

Quote
Assuming NASA gives the go-ahead for fabrication, the team will begin building a space-qualified spectrometer, along with the rest of the science instruments and the spacecraft itself. Until then, the enigmatic asteroid Psyche beckons with innumerable questions and precious few answers.

“You don’t fly a $750 million mission if you know for sure what the answers are,” Peplowski says. And when the mission is finished, two hundred million miles away, we might know more than ever before about the center of the planet beneath our feet.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2019 04:58 pm by gongora »

Offline mikelepage

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #1 on: 04/23/2019 01:12 pm »
This radar shape model of 16 Psyche is also interesting.
From here:
https://www.naic.edu/ao/blog/radar-observations-and-shape-model-asteroid-16-psyche

With an axial tilt of 95 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the two craters in Psyche’s southern hemisphere are unlikely to be permanently shadowed, but hopefully they are at least deep enough to be be protective for any reservoirs of water ice.

Offline Bynaus

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #2 on: 04/23/2019 08:12 pm »
Quote
With an axial tilt of 95 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the two craters in Psyche’s southern hemisphere are unlikely to be permanently shadowed, but hopefully they are at least deep enough to be be protective for any reservoirs of water ice.

At 95 degrees axial tilt (!!) the poles are in constant sunlight for half of a Pysche-year each. Actually, at tilts >60°, the equator gets less energy (averaged over the full year) than the poles. If anything, this would mean ice should be located near the equator.
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Offline mikelepage

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #3 on: 04/28/2019 10:03 am »
Quote
With an axial tilt of 95 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the two craters in Psyche’s southern hemisphere are unlikely to be permanently shadowed, but hopefully they are at least deep enough to be be protective for any reservoirs of water ice.

At 95 degrees axial tilt (!!) the poles are in constant sunlight for half of a Pysche-year each. Actually, at tilts >60°, the equator gets less energy (averaged over the full year) than the poles. If anything, this would mean ice should be located near the equator.

The full quote from the wikipedia article on Psyche:
Quote
Psyche's north pole points towards the ecliptic coordinates (β, λ) = (28°, -6°) with a 4° uncertainty.[3][12] This gives an axial tilt of 95°

Also for curiosity's sake:
Aphelion   3.328 AU
Perihelion   2.513 AU
Semi-major axis  2.921 AU
Eccentricity  0.140
Orbital period  4.99 yr (1823.115 d)
Argument of perihelion  228.047°

Quite an eccentric orbit though, so if I'm reading that right, there's a difference of 160° between the 28° ecliptic longitude of the North pole direction, and the 228° Argument of perihelion (closest to sun).  Which would mean that the South pole (and those two craters) are only exposed to the sun at distances greater than the semi-major axis of 2.9 AU (which is beyond the frost line).  Maybe there's still hope that they could contain considerable water ice resources.

Offline Bynaus

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #4 on: 04/28/2019 09:08 pm »
Quote
With an axial tilt of 95 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the two craters in Psyche’s southern hemisphere are unlikely to be permanently shadowed, but hopefully they are at least deep enough to be be protective for any reservoirs of water ice.

At 95 degrees axial tilt (!!) the poles are in constant sunlight for half of a Pysche-year each. Actually, at tilts >60°, the equator gets less energy (averaged over the full year) than the poles. If anything, this would mean ice should be located near the equator.

The full quote from the wikipedia article on Psyche:
Quote
Psyche's north pole points towards the ecliptic coordinates (β, λ) = (28°, -6°) with a 4° uncertainty.[3][12] This gives an axial tilt of 95°

Also for curiosity's sake:
Aphelion   3.328 AU
Perihelion   2.513 AU
Semi-major axis  2.921 AU
Eccentricity  0.140
Orbital period  4.99 yr (1823.115 d)
Argument of perihelion  228.047°

Quite an eccentric orbit though, so if I'm reading that right, there's a difference of 160° between the 28° ecliptic longitude of the North pole direction, and the 228° Argument of perihelion (closest to sun).  Which would mean that the South pole (and those two craters) are only exposed to the sun at distances greater than the semi-major axis of 2.9 AU (which is beyond the frost line).  Maybe there's still hope that they could contain considerable water ice resources.

An eccentricity of 0.14 is not that eccentric. Mercury, e.g., has a higher eccentricity, and I think the average eccentricity of the asteroid belt is around 0.2-0.3.

Again, at that axial tilt, you expect the equator to experience lower annually averaged temperatures compared to the poles. The poles are the (relative) hot spots on Psyches surface! If there is water ice at a pole, there is water ice everywhere else on the same hemisphere, too (although you might be right that there is a north-south asymmetry, so the northern hemisphere might be devoid of water because it is closer to the sun when exposed).

Note that at that tilt, its not only unlikely, but downright impossible to have permanently shadowed craters at the poles. At 95° tilt (essentially, the sun is coming from right above as seen from a polar position), polar craters cannot help with ice retention, at all.
More of my thoughts: www.final-frontier.ch (in German)

Online gongora

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #5 on: 05/07/2019 05:37 pm »
Split posts on exploiting the asteroid Psyche into: Asteroid Psyche - Ideas for Resource Exploitation

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #6 on: 09/30/2019 08:45 pm »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #7 on: 02/29/2020 12:48 am »
FYI: Falcon Heavy launch thread here.
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Offline redliox

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #8 on: 07/08/2020 07:04 pm »
Psyche just passed Critical Design Review.
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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #9 on: 07/09/2020 04:27 am »
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/building-nasas-psyche-design-done-now-full-speed-ahead-on-hardware


July 7, 2020
Building NASA's Psyche: Design Done, Now Full Speed Ahead on Hardware
This artist's concept depicts NASA's Psyche spacecraft.
This artist's concept, updated as of June 2020, depicts NASA's Psyche spacecraft.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

The mission to explore a metal-rich asteroid is pivoting from planning the details to building real pieces of the spacecraft puzzle.

Psyche, the NASA mission to explore a metal-rock asteroid of the same name, recently passed a crucial milestone that brings it closer to its August 2022 launch date. Now the mission is moving from planning and designing to high-gear manufacturing of the spacecraft hardware that will fly to its target in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Like all NASA missions, early work on Psyche started with drawing up digital blueprints. Then came the building of engineering models, which were tested and retested to confirm that the systems would do their job in deep space – by operating the spacecraft, taking science data and communicating it back to Earth.
artist's concept depicts the asteroid Psyche
This artist's concept depicts the asteroid Psyche, the target of NASA's Psyche mission.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

And the team just sailed through a key stage in that process, the critical design review. That's when NASA examines the designs for all of the project systems, including the three science instruments and all of the spacecraft engineering subsystems, from telecommunications, propulsion, and power to avionics and the flight computer.

"It's one of the most intense reviews a mission goes through in its entire life cycle," said Lindy Elkins-Tanton, who as principal investigator for Psyche leads the overall mission. "And we passed with flying colors. The challenges are not over, and we're not at the finish line, but we're running strong."

Studying a Metal-Rock World

Mission scientists and engineers worked together to plan the investigations that will determine what makes up the asteroid Psyche, one of the most intriguing targets in the main asteroid belt. Scientists think that, unlike most other asteroids that are rocky or icy bodies, Psyche is largely metallic iron and nickel – similar to Earth's core – and could be the heart of an early planet that lost its outer layers.

Since we can't examine Earth's core up-close, exploring the asteroid Psyche (about 140 miles, or 226 kilometers, wide) could give valuable insight into how our own planet and others formed.

To that end, the Psyche spacecraft will use a magnetometer to measure the asteroid's magnetic field. A multispectral imager will capture images of the surface, as well as data about the composition and topography. Spectrometers will analyze the neutrons and gamma rays coming from the surface to reveal the elements that make up the asteroid itself.

The mission team made prototypes and engineering models of the science instruments and many of the spacecraft's engineering subsystems. These models are manufactured with less expensive materials than those that will fly on the mission; that way they can be thoroughly tested before actual flight hardware is built. 

"This is planning on steroids" said Elkins-Tanton, who also is managing director and co-chair of the Interplanetary Initiative at Arizona State University in Tempe. "And it includes trying to understand down to seven or eight levels of detail exactly how everything on the spacecraft has to work together to ensure we can measure our science, gather our data and send all the data back to Earth. The complexity is mind-boggling."
An electric Hall thruster
An electric Hall thruster, identical to those that will be used to propel NASA's Psyche spacecraft, undergoes testing at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The blue glow is produced by the xenon propellant, a neutral gas used in car headlights and plasma TVs.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Building the Spacecraft

Now that Psyche is full-speed ahead on building hardware, there's no time to lose. Assembly and testing of the full spacecraft begins in February 2021, and every instrument – including a laser technology demonstration called Deep Space Optical Communications, led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory – has a deadline of April 2021 to be delivered to JPL's main clean room.

The main body of the spacecraft, called the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, is already being built at Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California. While observing social-distancing requirements for COVID-19 prevention, engineers there are working to attach the propulsion tanks. In February 2021, Maxar will deliver the SEP Chassis to JPL in Southern California and then deliver the solar arrays that provide all of the power for the spacecraft systems a few months later.
Thumbs-up for a successful test
Thumbs-up for a successful test. Psyche engineers observe COVID-19 social-distancing and masking requirements as they test an electric Hall thruster identical to those that will propel NASA's Psyche spacecraft on its journey to the asteroid Psyche.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Meanwhile, Psyche work is also buzzing at JPL, which manages the mission. Engineers who are essential to perform hands-on work are building and testing electronic components while following COVID-19 safety requirements. The rest of the JPL team is working remotely.

JPL provides the avionics subsystem, which includes Psyche's flight computer – the brain of the spacecraft. With equipment spread out on racks in a clean room, engineers test each piece before integrating it with the next. Once everything is connected, they test the full system with the software, operating the electronics exactly as they will be used in flight.

"One of the things we pride ourselves on in these deep-space missions is the reliability of the hardware," said Psyche Project Manager Henry Stone of JPL. "The integrated system is so sophisticated that comprehensive testing is critical. You do robustness tests, stress tests, as much testing as you can – over and above.

"You want to expose and correct every problem and bug now. Because after launch, you cannot go fix the hardware."


"I get goosebumps – absolutely," Stone said. "When we get to that point, you've made it through a huge phase, because you know you've done enough prototyping and testing. You're going to have a spacecraft that should work."

Psyche is set to launch in August 2022, and will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 on its way to arrival at the asteroid in early 2026.

More About the Mission

ASU leads the mission. JPL in Southern California is responsible for the mission's overall management, system engineering, integration and test, and mission operations. Maxar Technologies is providing a high-power solar electric propulsion spacecraft chassis.

For more information about NASA's Psyche mission go to:

http://www.nasa.gov/psyche

https://psyche.asu.edu/
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Online yg1968

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #10 on: 10/20/2020 02:27 am »
Update on Psyche, Lucy, DART and OSIRIS-Rex:

« Last Edit: 10/20/2020 03:04 am by yg1968 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #11 on: 11/18/2020 07:28 pm »
https://twitter.com/ltelkins/status/1328461234618949633

Quote
#PI_Daily

- Great discussion on @MissionToPsyche's readiness to proceed to Phase D
- Working over all the late parts and their effect on schedule
- Working over budgets
- Confirming we still have a solid path to launch, despite COVID, despite everything this year
- Three cheers

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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #13 on: 12/02/2020 10:39 pm »
https://twitter.com/missiontopsyche/status/1334250296420126720

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#MissionToPsyche Update 1 of 2: Psyche’s SEP chassis is in main body integration at Maxar’s manufacturing facility. The equipment panels have been mated to Psyche’s propulsion module and technicians will soon begin installing attitude control components. psyche.asu.edu

https://twitter.com/maxar/status/1334230394942726146

Quote
#MissionToPsyche Update 2 of 2: Psyche’s high gain antenna has completed fabrication and is undergoing standard testing in Maxar’s Near Field Range to verify that it will work as intended once launched. psyche.asu.edu

Offline redliox

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #14 on: 12/03/2020 03:03 am »
Wow!  It's literally coming together fast!
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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #15 on: 12/03/2020 07:11 am »
This Youtube video on the Psyche mission with mission PI Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton (Arizona State University) was posted on the Lunar and Planetary Institute YouTube channel on November 30th.



add't infomation: the video is quite long at almost 60 minutes run time.
« Last Edit: 12/03/2020 07:16 am by Zed_Noir »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #16 on: 12/03/2020 06:34 pm »
Wow!  It's literally coming together fast!
Most of it uses lot flighten proven GEO sat systems, hence quick build. Should also help it keep within budget.

Offline leovinus

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #17 on: 01/31/2021 07:26 pm »
Quote
Day 2 @MissionToPsyche  Launch Vehicle Preliminary Design Review, w @SpaceX .

Ex of complexity: We need to know how much particulate matter will coat the s/c, from all sources, while in fairing & going to pad & launching. Requirement: less than 0.5% surface obscuration.
https://twitter.com/ltelkins/status/1354928685497782273
« Last Edit: 01/31/2021 07:30 pm by leovinus »

Offline leovinus

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #18 on: 01/31/2021 07:34 pm »
I had lost track on Psyche progress but there is an excellent timeline with phases A-F at https://psyche.asu.edu/timeline/ The previous tweet is on the transition of phase C to D.

Offline Jansen

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Re: NASA Psyche - Updates and Discussion
« Reply #19 on: 03/29/2021 07:58 pm »
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-begins-final-assembly-of-spacecraft-destined-for-asteroid-psyche/

Quote
NASA Begins Final Assembly of Spacecraft Destined for Asteroid Psyche

In late March of 2021, a main component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft was delivered to JPL, where assembly, test, and launch operations are underway.

Set to launch next year, the agency’s Psyche spacecraft will explore a metal-rich asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

A major component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft has been delivered to the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations is now underway. Over the next year, the spacecraft will finish assembly and undergo rigorous checkout and testing before it’s shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for an August 2022 launch to the main asteroid belt.

The Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, crafted by Maxar Technologies’ team in Palo Alto, California, is the size of a van and represents more than 80% (by mass) of the hardware that will ultimately make up the Psyche spacecraft. The large, box-shaped structure made a dramatic entrance as it rolled into the white-walled clean room of JPL’s storied High Bay 1 of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility. Some of the chassis’ most visible features include the 6.5-foot-wide (2-meter-wide) high-gain antenna, the frame that will hold the science instruments, and bright red protective covers to safeguard delicate hardware.

“Seeing this big spacecraft chassis arrive at JPL from Maxar is among the most thrilling of the milestones we’ve experienced on what has already been a 10-year journey,” said Arizona State University’s Lindy Elkins-Tanton, who as principal investigator leads the Psyche mission. “Building this complex, precision piece of engineering during the year of COVID is absolutely a triumph of human determination and excellence.”

Psyche’s target is a metal-rich asteroid of the same name, which orbits the Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists think that Psyche is largely iron and nickel and could be the core of an early planet. Exploring the asteroid Psyche (about 140 miles, or 226 kilometers, wide) could lend valuable insight into how Earth and other planets formed.

Over the next 12 months, the project team will be working against the clock to meet deadlines in the runup to launch.

“It’s exciting watching it all come together, and it’s the part of the project life cycle that I love the most,” said Psyche Project Manager Henry Stone of JPL. “But it’s a really intense phase as well. It’s intricate choreography, and if one activity runs into a problem, it can impact the whole process. Staying on schedule at this phase of the mission is absolutely critical.”

The SEP Chassis comes to JPL with most of the engineering hardware systems already integrated. The Maxar team built the entire structure and integrated the hardware needed for the high-power electrical system, the propulsion systems, the thermal system, and the guidance and navigation system. The Psyche mission will take advantage of Maxar’s superefficient electric propulsion system to push Psyche through deep space. Maxar will also deliver the large, twin five-panel solar arrays that provide the power for the spacecraft systems.

Delivering the SEP Chassis to NASA’s JPL is an incredible accomplishment for us at Maxar,” said Steven Scott, Maxar’s Psyche program manager. “I am so proud of our team. We’ve managed to design and build an SEP spacecraft for a billion-mile journey through a low-power environment, all while prioritizing the health and safety of our team during a global pandemic. The collaboration between Maxar, Arizona State University, and NASA’s JPL is a model for success, and we’re honored to be part of the Psyche Mission.”

Building and Testing 

The assembly, test, and launch operations phase kicked off March 16, when engineers gathered in High Bay 1 to begin checking out the JPL-supplied subsystems, the flight computer, the communications system, and the low-power distribution system to be sure they work together. Now that the chassis has arrived, JPL and Maxar engineers will begin installing the remaining hardware, testing as they go.

The mission’s three science instruments will arrive at JPL over the next few months. The magnetometer will investigate the asteroid’s potential magnetic field. The multispectral imager will capture images of its surface. And the spectrometer will analyze the neutrons and gamma rays coming from the surface to determine the elements that make up the asteroid. JPL is also providing a technology demonstration instrument that will test high data-rate laser communications that could be used by future NASA missions.

NASA’s Psyche spacecraft
After its delivery to JPL in late March of 2021, NASA’s Psyche spacecraft chassis was attached to a rotation fixture, where it will be integrated with additional flight hardware three science instruments. Once assembled, the spacecraft will ship to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for an August 2022 launch.

Once the full spacecraft is assembled, the orbiter will move from the Spacecraft Assembly Facility to JPL’s large thermal vacuum chamber – a massive undertaking in itself – to simulate the harsh environment of deep space. The chamber is where JPL engineers will begin the heavy-duty testing to ensure the entire machine can survive deep space, thrust with the electric propulsion system, take science measurements, and communicate with Earth.   

By next spring, the fully assembled Psyche will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in advance of its August 2022 target launch date. The spacecraft will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 and in early 2026, will go into orbit around the asteroid, where it will spend 21 months gathering science data.

More About the Mission

ASU leads the mission. JPL is responsible for the mission’s overall management, system engineering, integration and testing, and mission operations. Psyche is the 14th mission selected as part of NASA’s Discovery Program.

For more information about NASA’s Psyche mission go to:

http://www.nasa.gov/psyche

https://psyche.asu.edu/

Tags: Psyche Falcon Heavy 
 

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