Hypothesized Surface: Sample Acquisition from Hypothesized Surfaces – UTT-A


University of Texas – Tyler


Silver Class (2022 – 2023)


Anas Shahid, Mechanical Engineer
Tapiwa Mlambo, Mechanical Engineering
Ishfar Ahmed, Mechanical Engineering
Makamte Soh Nadine, Mechanical Engineering
Wendnere serge sampebre, Mechanical engineering


Dr. Hussain Rizvi, Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering Department, UT Tyler (Houston Engineering Center)


This mission is to determine whether (16) Psyche is a core or if it is made up of an intact material and determine the relative ages of regions of (16) Psyche’s surface. It is also to determine whether small metal bodies incorporate the same light elements as are expected in the Earth’s high-pressure core and determine whether (16) Psyche was formed under conditions more oxidizing or more reducing than Earth’s core.

All of this can be accomplished by characterizing (16) Psyche’s topography. Our purpose is to design and build a prototype able to extract core samples from the surface of (16) Psyche and store them in sealed caching units to avoid cross-contamination. The possible surfaces of (16) Psyche were researched and evaluated to determine the necessary drilling forces required to extract core samples. A Cartesian robotic arm was designed to provide mobility for the drilling assembly to perform its functions, and then store the samples.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of the University of Texas – Tyler Capstone Course “MENG 4215”. The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission (https://psyche.asu.edu). “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.