Board Begins Review of NASA’s Psyche Mission

On July 19, Psyche’s independent review board met for the first time.

The focus is on understanding technical issues that led to the delay, how the risk of delay was or was not understood and communicated within the project, as well as to those charged with oversight of the mission at JPL in a timely manner, and the work required to ensure that Psyche is ready for a potential future opportunity.

The board’s objectives are to:

  • Study any and all issues that contributed to the launch delay, including the lack of visibility of the problems to management, standing review board, technical authorities, etc. or through standard life cycle reviews.
  • Identify when the problems began arising, why there was a lack of visibility, and determine if there were missed opportunities to take action earlier to possibly prevent the launch delay or prevent shipping to KSC and preparations for launch.
  • Identify and raise other issues that might be crucial for mission success not yet recognized by the team.
  • Identify specific corrective actions to prevent future reoccurrence of identified issues both in the Psyche replan and in other missions.
  • Identify any additional technical work the board believes is required to be completed for launch readiness.
  • Identify lessons learned associated with the acquisition strategy of a commercial bus for future NASA deep space missions.

The board is expected to brief their findings to NASA and JPL leadership in late September.