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NASA Psyche Mission

Journey to a Metal-Rich World
  
Speaker: Lindy Elkins-Tanton (NASA)
 
Wednesday, 9 September 2021 
10 am GMT+8

Watch it on BigMarker or Bilibili
   

When our solar system was just an infant, thousands of planetesimals formed in just a few million years. For many, heat from the decay of short-lived radioactive 26Al was trapped, causing cores to differentiate from the silicate mantle. Over the next few tens of millions of years, many planetesimals crossed paths catastrophically. Colliding worlds merged into even larger planets, eventually forming a small number of planetary embryos. Models show that among the accretionary collisions early in the solar system, some destructive “hit and run” impacts stripped the silicate mantle from differentiated bodies. This is the leading hypothesis for Psyche’s formation: it is part of a planetesimal core. If, alternatively, our observations indicate that it is not a core, Psyche may instead be highly reduced, primordial metal-rich materials that accreted closer to the Sun. The Psyche mission has been selected as the fourteenth in the NASA Discovery program. This mission will orbit the asteroid (16) Psyche to answer the following objectives: 

- Determine whether Psyche is a core, or if it is unmelted material.
- Determine the relative ages of regions of its surface. 
- Determine whether small metal bodies incorporate the same light elements as are expected in the Earth’s high-pressure core.
- Determine whether Psyche was formed under conditions more oxidizing or more reducing than Earth’s core.
- Characterize Psyche’s topography and impact crater morphology. 

In this talk Prof. Elkins-Tanton will introduce what is known and what is hypothesized about Psyche, describe the spacecraft and the science payload, and discuss how we are progressing with this mission, less than a year to the opening of the launch period.



About Prof. Elkins-Tanton

 

Lindy Elkins-Tanton is the Principal Investigator of the NASA Psyche mission, Arizona State University Vice President and Co-chair of the Interplanetary Initiative at ASU, and co-founder of Beagle Learning, a tech company training and measuring collaborative problem-solving and critical thinking. Her research and efforts are focused on a positive human space exploration future, the effective leadership of teams, and education for the future of society. She has led four field expeditions in Siberia. She served on the Planetary Decadal Survey Mars panel, and the Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team, and now serves on the Europa Clipper Standing Review Board. In 2010 she was awarded the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas prize. Asteroid (8252) Elkins-Tanton is named for her. In 2013 she was named the Astor Fellow at Oxford University. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and of the American Mineralogical Society, and in 2018 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In January 2020, she was awarded The Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship, by the National Academy of Sciences, for her lasting contributions to the study of the physics of Earth, and for illuminating the early evolution of rocky planets and planetesimals. In 2021, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Elkins-Tanton received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from MIT. Together we are working toward a positive space exploration future, and toward creating a generation of problem-solvers.

 
 
Schedule

23 September 2020
4 pm (GMT+8)
Geraint Jones – ESA Comet Interceptor Mission [YouTube/Youku]
21 October 2020 
8 pm (GMT+8)
Ralph Lorenz – NASA Dragonfly Mission [YouTube/Youku]
4 November 2020
4 pm (GMT+8)
Wang Chi – ESA SMILE Mission [YouTube/Youku]
25 November 2020
4 pm (GMT+8)
Heike Rauer – ESA PLATO Mission [YouTube/Youku]
9 December 2020
4 pm (GMT+8)
Takehiko Satoh – JAXA Akatsuki Mission [YouTube/Bilibili]
18 December 2020
4 pm (GMT+8)
Olivier Witasse – ESA JUICE Mission [YouTube/Bilibili]
21 December 2020
4 pm (GMT+8)
Tomohiro Usui – JAXA MMX Mission [YouTube/Bilibili]
13 January 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Weiqun Gan – CAS ASO-S Mission [YouTube/Bilibili] 
27 January 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Giovanna Tinetti – ESA Ariel Mission [YouTube/Bilibili] 
24 February 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Johannes Benkhoff – ESA BepiColombo Mission I [YouTube/Bilibili] 
10 March 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Gabriele Cremonese – ESA BepiColombo Mission II  [YouTube/Bilibili] 
24 March 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Go Murakami – ESA BepiColombo Mission III [YouTube/Bilibili] 
7 April 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Yoshifumi Saito – ESA BepiColombo Mission IV [YouTube/Bilibili] 
14 April 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Daniel Mueller – ESA Solar Orbiter Mission I [YouTube/Bilibili] 
21 April 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Stefano Vitale – ESA LISA Mission [YouTube/Bilibili] 
6 May 2021
9 am (GMT+8)
Andy Cheng – NASA DART Mission [YouTube/Bilibili] 
12 May 2021
9 am (GMT+8)
Robert Pappalardo – NASA Europa Clipper [YouTube/Bilibili] 
19 May 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Saem Krucker – ESA Solar Orbiter Mission II Watch
25 May 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Sami Solanki – ESA Solar Orbiter Mission III Watch
2 June 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Athena Coustenis – ESA's ExoMars Missions Watch
9 June 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Yuan Weimin – CAS Einstein Probe Mission Watch
16 June 2021
10 am (GMT+8)
Evgenya Shkolnik – NASA SPARCS Mission Watch
30 June 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
René Laurelijs – ESA EUCLID Mission Watch
7 July 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
ZHAN Hu – CMS Chinese Space Station Telescope Watch
14 July 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Tomoko Arai – JAXA DESTINY+ Mission Watch
21 July 2021
4 pm (GMT+8)
Micheal Küppers – ESA HERA Mission Watch
25 August 2021
4 pm (GMT+8) 
Li Zhenqiang – CAS Gaofen 5 Watch
9 Sept. 2021
10 am (GMT+8)
Lindy Elkins-Tanton – NASA Psyche Mission
15 Sept. 2021
4 pm (GMT+8) 
LIN Honglei – CAS Tianwen-1 
22 Sept. 2021
9 am (GMT+8)
Hal Levison – NASA Lucy Mission
29 Sept. 2021
9 am (GMT+8)
Ralph McNutt – NASA Interstellar Probe

 

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