“Go” for Launch: Weather Now 85% Favorable for NASA’s Psyche Liftoff Today

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket With Psyche Spacecraft

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with the Psyche spacecraft onboard is seen at sunset at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Thursday, October 12, 2023. Psyche is targeted to launch from the Florida spaceport at 10:19 a.m. EDT Friday, October 13. Photo credit: SpaceX

We remain a “go” for launch, with the latest weather update from the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predicting an 85% chance of favorable weather today for liftoff.

Teams continue targeting liftoff of NASA’s Psyche mission at 10:19 a.m. EDT (7:19 a.m. PDT) from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A. The primary weather concern for the launch area is the cumulus cloud rule.

Psyche Spacecraft Asteroid Composite

NASA’s Psyche mission aims to explore the metal-rich asteroid, Psyche, believed to be the exposed core of an undeveloped planet. Positioned between Mars and Jupiter, this unique asteroid offers insights into planetary formation and the early history of our solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

NASA’s Psyche Mission Overview

NASA’s Psyche mission is a voyage to a unique metal-rich asteroid, also named Psyche, which orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Unlike most asteroids, which are primarily made of rock or ice, Psyche is composed mainly of metallic iron and nickel. In fact, it’s thought that the asteroid might be the exposed core of a planet that didn’t fully form, offering a rare look into the building blocks of planet formation.

The spacecraft will journey to this intriguing asteroid, aiming to help scientists understand more about the building blocks of planet formation and offering insights into the violent history of collisions and accretion that created terrestrial planets. Launched atop a Falcon Heavy rocket, the mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, which is focused on understanding our solar system’s early history. The spacecraft will use magnetometers, multispectral imagers, and gamma-ray and neutron spectrometers to investigate the asteroid’s composition, origin, and potentially even its age.

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