NASA Adds Asteroid to Lucy Mission, Confident on Resolution of Solar Array Issue Written 16 June 2022


Depiction of NASA's Lucy mission. | Credit: NASA

Spaceflight Now reported that NASA engineers “have made progress in attempts to fully unfurl a solar array wing that snagged on NASA’s Lucy asteroid explorer shortly after launch last October, adding to optimism that the spacecraft can complete its 12-year mission as planned.” Lucy “will fly by eight Trojan asteroids between 2027 and 2033, plus one object in the main asteroid belt in 2025,” one more than was planned when the spacecraft was launched. Scientists “discovered an apparent satellite of Polymele during a ground-based occultation observation in March, when Polymele briefly passed in front of a star, temporarily blocking its light from reaching Earth.” Lucy will collect more information on Polymele’s satellite when it passes by in 2027.
Full Story (Spaceflight Now)