NASA removes Janus mission from Psyche mission’s 2023 launch manifest
NASA's Janus mission, which was designed to send twin small satellite spacecraft to study two separate binary asteroid systems, has been removed from the Psyche mission's 2023 launch manifest, the agency said on Friday.
Janus is part of the NASA Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) program which provides opportunities for low-cost, high-risk science missions that are responsive to requirements for flexibility. It was slated for launch as a secondary satellite on the Psyche mission which missed its planned 2022 launch period due to mission development problems. The Psyche asteroid mission's launch date was then rescheduled to October 2023, subsequently delaying Janus.
An assessment determined that Janus would not be on the required trajectory to meet its science requirements as a result of Psyche's new launch period.
According to the agency, the October 2023 launch period, cannot deliver the two spacecraft to either the mission’s original targets or to any appropriate target to reach their science objectives.
NASA has removed its Janus asteroid mission from the #MissionToPsyche’s 2023 launch manifest after an assessment determined that Janus would not be on the required trajectory to meet its science requirements as a result of Psyche’s new launch period. More: https://t.co/46y5iZChN0 pic.twitter.com/LkT7aBpspy— NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) November 18, 2022