The Psyche Gravity Investigation

Maria T. Zuber, Ryan S. Park, Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, J. F. Bell, Kristoffer N. Bruvold, David Bercovici, Bruce G. Bills, Richard P. Binzel, R. Jaumann, Simone Marchi, Carol A. Raymond, T. Roatsch, Charles C. Wang, Benjamin P. Weiss, Daniel Wenkert, Mark A. Wieczorek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The objective of the NASA Psyche mission gravity science investigation is to map the mass distribution within asteroid (16) Psyche to elucidate interior structure and to resolve the question of whether this metal-rich asteroid represents a remnant metal core or whether it is a primordial body that never melted. Measurements of gravity will be obtained via the X-band telecommunication system on the Psyche spacecraft, collected from progressively lower mapping altitudes. Orbital gravity will allow an estimate of GM to better than 0.001 km3 s−2. A spherical harmonic model of gravity to degree and order 10 will be achievable and, in concert with spherical harmonic data sets from topography and magnetometry, as well as surface composition data, will provide information regarding the spatial and radial distribution of mass that will be used to constrain the origin and evolution of (16) Psyche.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Asteroid
  • Gravity
  • Remote sensing
  • Spacecraft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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