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COSMIC MUSINGS - "The Soul of Psyche - Mission to the Heart of a Protoplanet"
August 20th, 2018 7:30pm
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COSMIC MUSINGS series presented by United Airlines.



Do you ever wonder what the heart of a baby planet is like? NASA does too! Psyche is an orbiter mission now in development to visit the asteroid named Psyche, one of our solar system’s most unique objects. As far as scientists can tell by examining it from the Earth, it is a giant metal asteroid big enough to span the distance from Los Angeles to Tijuana... and it may be the now-exposed core of a proto planet (developing planet). Come hear the details from TRACY DRAIN, the mission’s Deputy Project Systems Engineer.


IMAGE ABOVE: A digital image of one of two NASA Discovery missions announced in early 2017. (Screenshot/NASA)



Tracy Drain
Flight Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Deputy Project System Engineer, Psyche mission


Tracy Drain has worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since completing her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2000. In her 17 years at JPL, she has participated in the development and operation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (a science and relay orbiter at Mars), the Kepler mission (searching for exoplanets) and the Juno mission to Jupiter. She is now the Deputy Project System Engineer for the Psyche mission, slated to launch in 2022. Tracy is passionate about space exploration and loves taking every opportunity to encourage students to consider pursuing exciting careers in STEM fields.


Check-in and the Café at the End of the Universe open at 6:00 p.m. The Observatory will be closed to the general public, and the only area/exhibits inside the building open to ticketed guests is in the immediate vicinity of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater.



Reservations are required to access event parking and enter Griffith Observatory. In the case of sold-out shows, ticket sales will close. Non-wait list tickets not picked up by 7:40 p.m. will be made available to wait-listed guests. The event wait list may be joined by emailing, including the number of seats requested and a full name for the reservation. Wait list tickets are sold at the door, cash (exact change) only. No refunds are available. All registration closes August 20, 4:00 p.m.

If your membership has lapsed or you would like to become a FOTO member, renew or join easily on-line at For event or membership questions, please send an email to Marc at or call 213.473.0879.


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