3, 2, 1…Launch Party!

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On the morning of October 12, the world will witness a new era of space exploration as the spacecraft Psyche embarks on its journey from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This mission, aimed at exploring a metal-rich asteroid also named Psyche, marks the first deep-space venture led by Arizona State University.

To celebrate this groundbreaking event, ASU Preparatory Academy Phoenix is hosting a launch party, inviting ASU Prep families from all campuses to attend. With doors opening at 7 a.m., attendees can anticipate an exciting morning filled with breakfast, engaging STEM activities, and a recording of previous launches to help set the stage for the Psyche mission launch next week. Special guest speakers include Dr. Carver Bierson, ASU postdoctoral research scholar and Psyche mission expert.

The Psyche spacecraft’s destination, an asteroid that resides between Mars and Jupiter, will take nearly six years and 2.2 billion miles to reach. The study of this metal asteroid could provide invaluable insights into how Earth and other terrestrial planets came into existence.

Stefanie Contreras, ASU Prep Director of Marketing and Communications, is eager to inspire the next generation of explorers who may one day pursue STEM-related education and careers, saying, “By the time the rocket arrives, our current seventh graders could be at ASU, ready to start studying the findings.”

Ms. Contreras hopes students will come dressed in space-themed costumes and accessories created as part of Arizona State University’s statewide Psyche Spirit Week Photo Contest. The prize is a tour of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration center, including the Mars Space Flight Facility where scientists and researchers are exploring the geology and mineralogy of the Red Planet. 

Join us as we celebrate this monumental occasion and inspire the future leaders of space exploration. The themes for the Psyche photo contest can be found on the spirit week contest website. For more information on ways to celebrate the first deep-space NASA mission led by ASU, check out the university’s website.