NASA's Psyche mission to an unexplored metal world comes to a halt

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According to a statement released by NASA on Friday, the first spacecraft created to explore a metallic asteroid won't fly this year as originally anticipated.

The launch window for the Psyche mission in 2022, which started on August 1 and ends on October 11, will close before the spacecraft's flight software is prepared

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The Psyche team didn't have enough time to test the programme before launch due to a delay in the delivery of the software and its testing tools.

When the spaceship is in flight, engineers want to be 100% certain that the software will perform as intended.

Guidance and navigation software helps direct the spacecraft's antenna toward Earth for communications and data relay by regulating the orientation of the spacecraft

The software also gives trajectory data to the spacecraft's propulsion system.

Engineers found a compatibility problem in the software's test bed simulators while doing testing at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California

Although the problem has already been fixed, 2022 is not enough time for a complete checkout and launch.

To study the mission and decide on a course of action, including anticipated costs and prospective launch possibilities in 2023 and 2024

the space agency will assemble an independent assessment committee. At the moment, the Florida Kennedy Space Center is home to the Psyche spacecraft.

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