NASA’s Lucy mission, which will study eight of the Trojan asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbital trajectory, has overcome an obstacle to reaching the ancient remains of our solar system. Post on the NASA blog reveals.
Only 48 hours later launch of the spaceship Lucy on board the Atlas V rocket on Saturday, October 16, NASA discovered that one of the two solar arrays on the ship may not be properly attached.
Lucy’s second solar massif “may not be completely blocked”
The two solar arrays were folded to the side of the Lucy spacecraft during launch and were programmed to unfold once the machine reached orbit. The deployment process is a crucial 20-minute phase of the Lucy mission, which will last a total of 12 years. The solar arrays are working, although NASA must determine whether the mission can safely proceed to the full deployment of the solar grid.
“Lucy’s two solar arrays are deployed and both produce energy and the battery is charging,” NASA said in a statement. “While one of the arrays is blocked, there are indications that the second array may not be completely closed. With the current attitude of the spacecraft, Lucy can continue to operate without threatening its health and safety. The team is analyzing spacecraft data for to understand the situation and to determine the next steps to achieve full deployment of the solar grid. “
NASA associate director confident Lucy’s team will “prevail”
IN tweet, Said NASA Associate Director of Science Thomas Zerbuchen NASA’s Lucy mission is safe and sound. The two solar arrays are deployed, but one may not be completely closed. The team is analyzing the data to determine the next steps. This team has already overcome many challenges and I am convinced that will prevail here as well. “
Lucy’s mission is to analyze Trojan asteroids – using infrared images and cameras – as she flies past objects that are on the same orbital trajectory as Jupiter. The mission is named after Lucy’s fossil, discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia, which changed our understanding of the type of hominin. Trojan asteroids are locked in an orbital trajectory, which means that they have been orbiting the Sun constantly since the beginning of our solar system and are essentially fossils from the early formation of the planet. Lucy’s mission is the first to study these celestial objects closely, and NASA hopes that in the same vein as the discovery of Lucy’s fossils, their new mission will change our understanding of planetary evolution.