NASA confirms Psyche will not launch in 2022

  1. JPL director Laurie Leshin: problem was with testing for guidance, navigation and control software. Needed a complex testing environment, which is now fixed. But not enough time left to test for a launch this year.

  2. "complex testing environment": Another term is "brassboard". That's a laboratory device that embodies enough hardware to simulate the critical spacecraft functions during software verification tests prior to launch.

  3. Odds are quite high that none of the 6 Falcon Heavy missions originally set for this year will actually launch this year

  4. 2022 got our hopes up so 2023 could run. Just imagine the joy of finally watching a ton of Falcon Heavy launches alongside Dream Chaser and more. /s

  5. Nextspaceflight still has three listed (ViaSat in September, USSF-67 in November and USSF-44 in December). Of those three, ViaSat are the only one who are at all likely to not slip into 2023.

  6. and none of them due to launcher unavailablity. Not only is there no embarrassment on SpaceX's side but presumably the company bills delays to its customers.

  7. They can't simply delay the launch... they are relying on a gravity assist from Mars and the planets are not going to wait. This delay will push them back to their original plan which doesn't arrive at psyche until 2030, 4 years later than this launch window would allow. What an absolute waste.

  8. How crazy is that SX has changed the landscape so much that launch is basically "on call" and SX is just waiting around for satellite operators to get their shit together.

  9. Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

  10. How is there not enough time between now and September to perform software testing? I shouldn't be surprised, but I am a little. Is it far more complicated than I'm imagining or is their pace just..... Slow? Or both?

  11. There isn't enough time to perform the testing. The issue was with the testbed built by JPL which is used to simulate the spacecraft. The software that JPL designed was already running behind schedule so they only just now found the issue with the testbed.

  12. I'm a nice guy so I tend to give the benefit of the doubt. As someone who has zero software background I have to assume this is far more complicated than I have any hope of understanding. At least it better be because I really like watching 27 merlins go burrrrr.

  13. Testing flight software is hard. There's extremely stringent standards on reliability, redundancy, and robustness. Because if you screw it up, your $1b satellite becomes an expensive paperweight. And it often can't just be patched after it's already left earth.

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