Press Release

NASA Invites Media to See Psyche Spacecraft in JPL’s Clean Room

By SpaceRef Editor
March 21, 2022
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News media are invited to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California to see the agency’s Psyche spacecraft, slated to be the first to orbit a metal-rich asteroid, in a Spacecraft Assembly Facility clean room. Psyche mission team members will be available for interviews in the clean room and additional locations.

This media opportunity will take place on Monday, April 11, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. PDT, with three time slots expected to start at 10 a.m., 10:35 a.m., and 11:15 a.m. Space is limited; all members of the media wishing to attend must reserve a slot in advance and be pre-approved. 

This will be the media’s only opportunity to be in JPL’s clean room with the spacecraft prior to its shipment to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it is slated to launch no earlier than Aug. 1. 

Mission members available for interviews are expected to include:

●     Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Psyche principal investigator, ASU

●     Henry Stone, Psyche project manager, JPL

●     David Oh, Psyche project systems engineering manager, JPL 

●     Maria de Soria-Santacruz Pich, Psyche payload lead systems engineer, JPL (also available for Spanish interviews)

●     Abhijit “Abi” Biswas, Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) project technologist, JPL

Psyche will enter orbit around the asteroid, also named Psyche, in 2026 and study its properties for the next 21 months. The mission will provide insight into the origins of the asteroid, which is 173 miles (280 kilometers) at its widest point. One possible explanation for Psyche’s unusually high metal content is that it formed early in our solar system, either as remnant core material from a planetesimal – one of the building blocks of rocky planets – or as primordial material that never melted.

The mission will also host the Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) technology demonstration that will test high-data-rate laser communications with Earth during the spacecraft’s journey to the asteroid belt. That technology could be used by future NASA missions. 

U.S. news media interested in covering the event at JPL must arrange access in advance by contacting Rexana Vizza at no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 29. Media representatives must provide one form of government-issued photo identification. Non-U.S. citizens will need to bring a passport or a green card. JPL will be complying with NASA and local public heath guidelines regarding proof of vaccination and testing, based on the CDC’s COVID-19 community level for Los Angeles County at the time of the media opportunity. The requirements are subject to change.

Clean Room Guidelines

Individuals approved to attend this media day will receive a list of clothing and equipment guidelines that must be adhered to in order to enter the clean room.

For more information about the mission, visit:


SpaceRef staff editor.