The Psyche Mission is a NASA initiative led by Arizona State University (ASU). It aims to explore an asteroid named Psyche, which orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. This mission seeks to uncover the mysteries surrounding the asteroid’s composition. It is believed to be primarily composed of metal, possibly similar to the Earth’s core, allowing scientists to understand our planet’s origins better.

As part of the Psyche mission, the Psyche Inspired program engages college students in creative projects related to the mission’s objectives. These projects allow students to contribute to the mission’s goals while gaining valuable hands-on experience and mentorship from experts in the field. Selected students collaborate with NASA scientists and ASU researchers to explore various aspects of the Psyche mission, ranging from scientific research to outreach and education initiatives. Through their projects, these interns contribute fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to further the mission’s objectives and inspire the next generation of space explorers.

International CSM student Alexandra Szabo has been immersed in NASA’s Psyche Inspired internship program. As part of the program, she delved deep into the mysteries of space under the mentorship of Arizona State University’s faculty and NASA’s finest. Through weekly online meetings and enlightening conversations with NASA scientists, such as Lindy Elkins-Tanton and Peter Lord, Szabo gained invaluable insights into the intricacies of space exploration and mission planning. These encounters fueled her passion for astronomy and left an indelible mark on her journey.

While her academic roots lie in psychology, Szabo has discovered the profound interplay between science and art, igniting a newfound zeal for interdisciplinary studies. Szabo’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of curiosity, perseverance, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge.

“If you’re interested in interdisciplinary studies and exploring the beautiful connection between science and art, consider joining the Iridium Class as a Psyche Inspired Intern. It is not rocket science,” Szabo remarks, encapsulating the essence of her academic endeavors and the ethos of exploration that drives her forward.

Recognized for her stellar contributions, Szabo was featured in the NASA Psyche Inspired Online Showcase—an accolade that underscored her creative prowess and dedication to the Psyche mission. Additionally, her scholarly endeavors were celebrated through the Michael Chriss Astronomy Award at CSM, affirming her commitment to astronomical research and scholarly excellence.

Reflecting on Szabo’s journey, CSM Astronomy Professor Elisha Polomski shares, “It was a pleasure to work with Lexi and share her enthusiasm for the achievements of the Psyche Mission. Lexi is truly a Renaissance woman with interests in many areas. She has a unique ability to blend art and science and illuminate the wonder and beauty of Psyche. She is an inspiring example of what students can achieve at CSM. To paraphrase Star Trek, I predict she will “Boldy Go” on to explore wherever her curiosity leads her on her cosmic journey.”