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Launch of NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission delayed to late September

Launch of NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission delayed to late September

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The launch of NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission, which was set for Aug. 1 on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, has been delayed to no earlier than Sept. 20

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after ground teams discovered an issue during software testing on the spacecraft, officials said Monday.

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The robotic asteroid explorer arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on April 29 aboard a U.S. military cargo plane.

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Then ground teams moved the spacecraft, packed inside a climate-controlled shipping container, to a clean room at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.

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Technicians unboxed the Psyche spacecraft and moved it to a handling fixture for a series of hardware and software tests to make sure the probe survived the cross-country trip from California.

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But a technical issue interrupted the test campaign, and will delay the launch of the Psyche mission at least seven weeks.

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