NASA’s highly anticipated Psyche spacecraft launch has been delayed by a week due to thruster issues, it has been announced. Initially scheduled for October 4, the new launch date has been set for October 12, with the spacecraft set to take off on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.
The delay in the launch is a result of the need to verify parameters for the spacecraft’s nitrogen cold gas thrusters. In order to ensure the thrusters operate within temperature limits, adjustments have been made. Following the adjustments, the launch team will rerun simulations and fine-tune the modifications before the flight.
This is not the first setback for the Psyche mission. Originally planned for launch in 2022, the mission has faced issues with flight software and testing equipment, pushing its launch date further. As a result, the spacecraft will now arrive at its destination, the Psyche asteroid, in 2029 rather than the initially anticipated early 2026.
The Psyche asteroid is believed to be the core of a shattered planetesimal, providing scientists with a unique opportunity to study and understand the interior of rocky planets. Equipped with state-of-the-art instruments, the Psyche spacecraft aims to map the asteroid and uncover valuable insights into the formation and composition of planets.
Despite the delay, the NASA team remains optimistic and committed to ensuring the success of the Psyche mission. The additional time will allow for thorough testing and fine-tuning, ensuring that the spacecraft is well-prepared for its groundbreaking journey to the Psyche asteroid.
Stay tuned for further updates as NASA continues to work towards launching the Psyche spacecraft and unraveling the mysteries of the solar system’s intriguing past.
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