Psyche Mission Launches From Kennedy Space Center (Highlights)

Highlights from the Oct. 13, 2023, launch of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft, which will travel 2.2 billion miles to a metal-rich asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Psyche lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:19 a.m PDT (10:19 a.m. EDT).

The mission, which is the first to explore a metal-rich asteroid, aims to help scientists learn more about the formation of rocky bodies – including Earth – in our solar system. The Psyche spacecraft is equipped with four scientific investigations: the magnetometer, gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer, multispectral imager, and gravity science experiment. In addition, a technology demonstration called Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) will fly on Psyche in order to test high-data-rate laser communications.

Psyche is scheduled to arrive at the asteroid in 2029 and orbit for about 26 months.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California manages the mission, which is led by Arizona State University. NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center manages launch operations and procured the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Maxar Technologies delivered the solar electric propulsion chassis and most of its engineering hardware systems.

For more information about NASA’s Psyche mission go to

For more information about DSOC, go to:…

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Date Added: 10-13-2023
Credit: NASA

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