reported the launch and mission as follows, “Psyche is a NASA mission to study a metal-rich asteroid with the same name, located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. This is NASA’s first mission to study an asteroid that has more metal than rock or ice.

NASA and SpaceX launched from Kennedy Space Center at 10:19EDT on October 13. Psyche lifted off from Launch Pad 39A aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. (Psyche is the first in a series of NASA science missions to be the primary payloads launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.)

If all goes as planned, asteroid Psyche’s gravity will capture the spacecraft in late July 2029, and Psyche will begin its prime mission in August. It will spend about two years orbiting the asteroid to take pictures, map the surface, and collect data to determine Psyche’s composition.

The body of the Psyche spacecraft is about the size of a small van, and it’s powered by solar electric propulsion. It has a magnetometer, a gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer, and a multispectral imager to study asteroid Psyche. The spacecraft will start sending images to Earth as soon as it spots the asteroid.

Scientists think asteroid Psyche, which is about 173 miles (280 kilometers) at its widest point, could be part or all of the iron-rich core of a planetesimal, a building block of a rocky planet.”

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