On October 13, a successful launch of a Falcon Heavy rocket took place from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome. It sent the Psyche mission into interplanetary space.
The purpose of the Psyche mission is the metallic asteroid Psyche, which is one of the largest and most massive asteroids of the Main Belt. According to one hypothesis, it is a fragment of the core of a protoplanet that collapsed shortly after the formation of the Solar System.
It should be noted that the launch of Psyche was postponed several times due to various problems and bad weather. Until the last moment, there was no certainty that it would not be rescheduled again. But in the end, weather conditions still allowed us to send the spacecraft into space.
For the Falcon Heavy rocket, the launch of Psyche was the eighth in its history. The side boosters made a successful landing on the barge, while the central unit was used in a one-time configuration.
As for the spacecraft, after gaining the necessary speed, it successfully separated from the upper stage of the rocket and began an independent flight. Now engineers will have to deploy its huge solar panels, after which they will start checking the onboard equipment and scientific instruments.
It will take Psyche six years to get to its goal. In 2026, the spacecraft will perform a gravitational maneuver in the vicinity of Mars, which will further accelerate it. The entry into orbit around Psyche is scheduled to take place in August 2029.
Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time