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Image of the psyche spacecraft. Shows the plus shaped panels attached to the

The Spacecraft

The Psyche spacecraft and solar panels, which will be built by SSL, are about the size of a singles tennis court. The body of the spacecraft is slightly bigger than a Smart Car and about as tall as a regulation basketball hoop. The spacecraft will include a Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer, a Multispectral Imager, a Magnetometer and an x-band radio telecommunications system.

The Psyche mission will also test a sophisticated new laser communication technology, called Deep Space Optical Communication, that encodes data in photons to communicate between a probe in deep space and Earth.

dimensions icon Spacecraft Size
~81 ft (24.76 meters) long by ~24 ft (7.34 meters) wide
surface area icon Bus (Body) Size
~10 ft (3.1 meters) long by ~8 ft (2.4 meters) wide
simple outline of the psyche spacecraft inside a circle. Flight Time
3.4 years
Mission Cost Icon is represented with the outline of a dollar inside a circle. Mission Cost
$850 million
This drawing compares the size of the Psyche spacecraft to a tennis court.

Spacecraft Size

The Psyche spacecraft (including the solar panels) is about the size of a singles tennis court.

This is a drawing showing a comparison of the size of the spacecraft bus (its

BUS (Body) Size

The bus or “body” of the spacecraft is slightly bigger than a Smart Car and about as tall as a regulation basketball hoop.

The Spacecraft

The Psyche spacecraft, comprised of the bus (body), two solar arrays in a cross formation, and the instrument payload, will use solar electric (low-thrust) propulsion to travel to and orbit the asteroid.

A drawing showing one component (a box-like shape) of the propulsion system.

Propulsion System

The spacecraft will be propelled by solar electric propulsion.

This drawing shows the Psyche spacecraft bus (

Fully-Equipped

The spacecraft will include a Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer, a Multispectral Imager, a Magnetometer and an x-band radio telecommunications system. The Psyche mission will also test a sophisticated new laser communication technology, called Deep Space Optical Communication (DSOC), that encodes data in photons to communicate between the spacecraft and Earth.