The Thrusters Behind NASA's Mission to the Asteroid Psyche

Hall thrusters have been used in satellites for years. Now, they’ll play a crucial role in reaching a metallic asteroid called Psyche.

A satellite company named Maxar recently delivered a passenger-van-sized chunk of spacecraft to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. This chassis will serve as the backbone for a robotic spacecraft that will explore a metallic asteroid for the first time. This ambitious mission, named Psyche after the eponymous asteroid it will explore, is due to launch next summer on a Falcon Heavy rocket.

Once in space, the spacecraft will use an innovative means of propulsion, known as Hall thrusters, to reach the asteroid. This will be the first time

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