Psyche is both the name of an asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter — and the name of a NASA space mission to visit that asteroid, led by Arizona State University. The mission was chosen by NASA on January 4, 2017 as one of two missions for the agency’s Discovery Program, a series of relatively low-cost missions to solar system targets.
The Psyche spacecraft is targeted to travel to the asteroid using solar-electric (low-thrust) propulsion, following a Mars flyby and gravity-assist. After arrival, the mission plan calls for mapping the asteroid and studying its properties.
Once the spacecraft arrives at the asteroid, plans call for it to perform science operations from four staging orbits, which become successively closer.