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Old 04-01-2024, 12:24 PM
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spacerunner spacerunner is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Filderstadt, Germany
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Construction of the Space probe for NASA's Psyche Mission

Hello everybody,

first of all, I still wish everyone a Happy Easter.

During my trip to Florida, I witnessed the launch of a Falcon 9 Heavy for NASA's Psyche mission from Launch Pad 39A live from the Viewing point of the Apollo Saturn V Center on October 13, 2023, which was an unforgettable experience that I reported on in my German Travel report.

This Official NASA Trailer gives a very good overview of the Psyche spacecraft and its mission.

Source: NASA, JPL-Caltech, ASU

As I mentioned at the end of the post, one could take along a simple paper kit of the Psyche spacecraft in the KSC Visitor Complex, which even contains short illustrated instructions, so putting it together shouldn't be rocket science.

But when I took a closer look at the kit and the instructions,

I immediately had some concerns about the 15 cm long Solar arrays and their point-like attachment to the space probe.

To do this, a folded and glued carrier strip (5 mm x 200 mm) should be glued in the middle of a folded panel and pushed through side slits through the space probe body, onto which then at the other side the other panel should be glued.

As you can see, the space probe only consists of six parts, which I first cut out of the slightly thicker cardboard. Then one can clearly see that for the intended assembly of the panels with the help of the carrier strip, the inner areas of the filigree struts must not be cut out in order to provide the whole thing with sufficient support,

which of course doesn't correspond to the original and would be totally resist me, as one can see in the Trailer (2:00).

That's why I came up with a different, even though adventurous solution, that should come closer to the original. The only problem is the virtually point-like, stable attachment of the widely overhanging panels to the space probe walls.

Of course, it would be ideal if I made the struts out of thin wire, which is why I first cut out the spaces, but what was quite tricky.

Greetings from Germany
Under construction:
Launch Pad 39A with Challenger STS-6 (1:144)
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