CSIP: PRELIMS BOOSTER SERIES-95 Science and Technology


NASA’s Psyche mission is an ambitious endeavour to explore the metallic asteroid Psyche, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Psyche is unique because it is believed to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an ancient planet, providing a rare opportunity to study such a core directly. The mission aims to uncover insights into the history of planetary formation through collisions and accretion.

Key aspects of the Psyche mission include:

• Mission Leadership:

Led by Arizona State University, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory overseeing operations. Maxar (formerly SSL) is responsible for the spacecraft’s solar-electric propulsion system and scientific instruments.

• Science Goals:
Psyche’s primary objective is to understand iron cores, offering a glimpse into the interiors of terrestrial planets like Earth. It also explores a celestial body made mostly of metal, contrasting with typical solar system objects.

• Science Objectives:
o Identifying Psyche’s true nature,
o Determining its age,
o Studying its elemental composition,
o Understanding its environmental conditions during formation, and
o Characterizing its topography.

The Psyche mission promises to shed light on fundamental questions about planetary formation and composition.