The launch of the Psyche space probe towards an asteroid of the same name was postponed by one day to Friday due to bad weather conditions. NASA announced this Thursday evening. “Psyche” is scheduled to launch from the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in the US state of Florida in the afternoon (4:19 pm) aboard the Falcon Heavy rocket belonging to Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX.
The probe, which has the size of a tennis court and has solar sails, was actually scheduled to launch in 2022, but had to be postponed due to computer problems. Psyche has to travel about 3.5 billion kilometers to reach the asteroid, which is why it won’t be able to get there until 2029 at the earliest.
The asteroid Psyche orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter. According to preliminary results, it contains a lot of minerals. The probe aims to explore its composition and thus give researchers a better idea about the composition of asteroids, planets, and our solar system.
Austrian technology was used to transport the satellite from the production facility in Pasadena, California, in the western United States to the spaceport on the East Coast: the satellite was transported in a high-tech container from the Austrian space supplier Beyond Gravity Austria (formerly RUAG Space), the company announced on Thursday. . The satellite container functions “as a mobile clean room with high-quality, high-purity damping and air conditioning technology,” Wolfgang Paulinitz, head of Beyond Gravity’s thermal and mechanical business, said according to the release. Beyond Gravity’s reusable satellite container will also be used on NASA’s Europe Clipper mission, scheduled to launch into space in 2024.
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