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Thread: NASA's Lucy mission to the trojans of Jupiter.

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    NASA's Lucy mission to the trojans of Jupiter.

    "NASA's mission to Jupiter's trojans given the green light for development"

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NA...pment_999.html

    NASA's mission to perform the first reconnaissance of the Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter, has passed a critical milestone. NASA has given approval for the implementation and 2021 launch of the Lucy spacecraft.

    The confirmation review, formally known as "Key Decision Point C," authorized continuation of the project into the development phase and set its cost and schedule. The confirmation review panel approved the detailed plans, instrument suite, budget and risk factor analysis for the spacecraft.
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    If they find crystalline carbon in those primitive asteroids it would be Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.
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    Space Daily carries an article on Lucy.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NA...roids_999.html

    Not quite 4 million years ago, an ancient ancestor of modern humans roamed the land in what later would become the country of Ethiopia. Thirty-four years ago, Donald Johanson discovered the fossilized skeleton of this creature, later named Lucy, after the Beatles' 1967 hit "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

    Three years from now, a spacecraft named Lucy, inspired by the famous fossil, will begin its exploration that could help determine the early history of the solar system.

    NASA's Lucy mission will fly by six of those trapped planetesimals - the Jupiter Trojan asteroids - giving humanity its first glimpse of these ancient objects. By studying these fossils of planet formation, the Lucy mission could reveal as much about the development of the solar system as the Lucy fossil did about human evolution. And on the way to the Trojans, Lucy will visit an asteroid that the team has named Donaldjohanson, after the anthropologist that discovered the fossilized skeleton of our ancestor.
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    It's not named for the Lucy who always wanted to hang out with the stars?

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    "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." -- its acronym is "LSD", and that acronym has long supported speculation that that Beatles song is a reference to lysergic acid diethylamide, that well-known hallucinogen.

    NASA's Lucy in the Sky with … Asteroids? | NASA
    Lucy's targets were selected to have a variety of surface types.
    One characteristic the Trojans have in common is that they are dark. “They only reflect four or five percent of the light that hits them,” said Noll. “That’s really dark. Black pavement on the road is far more reflective.”
    Much like Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Their very dark color is likely due to organic material, likely much like the kerogen-like organic material in carbonaceous chondrites.
    The mission will carry four instruments in its payload: L’Ralph, consisting of MVIC (Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera), a multi-color imager, and LEISA (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array), a spectrograph that will provide information on surface composition; L’LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager), a high-resolution camera; and L’TES (Thermal Emission Spectrometer), which will measure the surface temperatures of the Trojans. And in addition to the scientific instruments, Lucy’s communications (radio) and target acquisition system (TTCam) will contribute to the science mission.
    Tracking the spacecraft should enable measurement of the gravitational pulls of the asteroids that the spacecraft flies by, and thus their masses.

    Lucy: The First Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans | NASA
    Lucy will launch in October 2021 and, with boosts from Earth's gravity, will complete a 12-year journey to seven different asteroids — a Main Belt asteroid and six Trojans, the last two members of a “two-for-the-price-of-one” binary system. Lucy’s complex path will take it to both clusters of Trojans and give us our first close-up view of all three major types of bodies in the swarms (so-called C-, P- and D-types).

    The dark-red P- and D-type Trojans resemble those found in the Kuiper Belt of icy bodies that extends beyond the orbit of Neptune. The C-types are found mostly in the outer parts of the Main Belt of asteroids, between Mars and Jupiter. All of the Trojans are thought to be abundant in dark carbon compounds. Below an insulating blanket of dust, they are probably rich in water and other volatile substances.

    ...
    This diagram illustrates Lucy's orbital path. The spacecraft’s path (green) is shown in a frame of reference where Jupiter remains stationary, giving the trajectory its pretzel-like shape. After launch in October 2021, Lucy has two close Earth flybys before encountering its Trojan targets. In the L4 cloud Lucy will fly by (3548) Eurybates (white), (15094) Polymele (pink), (11351) Leucus (red), and (21900) Orus (red) from 2027-2028. After diving past Earth again Lucy will visit the L5 cloud and encounter the (617) Patroclus-Menoetius binary (pink) in 2033. As a bonus, in 2025 on the way to the L4, Lucy flies by a small Main Belt asteroid, (52246) Donaldjohanson (white), named for the discoverer of the Lucy fossil. After flying by the Patroclus-Menoetius binary in 2033, Lucy will continue cycling between the two Trojan clouds every six years.

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    How will Lucy get to its destination?

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...roids-jupiter/

    In 2021, NASA will launch its Lucy mission to explore Jupiter's Trojan asteroids for the first time. Billions of years old, these asteroids serve as a time capsule for the earliest days of the solar system. Getting there will require some of the fanciest flying in the space agency's history and NASA has just started publicly discussing how Lucy will navigate its way through some of the oldest asteroids in the solar system.

    The challenge with planning a mission like Lucy is that solar system is constantly moving. Normally, scientists can plan out a clear-cut route with a large planetary body, like Mars or Earth's moon. But with the Trojan asteroids, which are comprised of two separate clouds, the spacecraft will have to navigate through multiple gravitational forces. Each of these gravitational forces will be moving in their own direction and will be threatening to take Lucy with them.

    "There are two ways to navigate a mission like Lucy,” says Jacob Englander, the optimization technical lead for the Lucy mission, in a press statement. “You can either burn an enormous amount of propellant and zig-zag your way around trying to find more targets, or you can look for an opportunity where they just all happen to line up perfectly.”
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    "Lucy has 1000 days to launch day"

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Lu...h_day_999.html

    Sunday marked T-1000 days to the launch of NASA's Lucy Spacecraft, the first spacecraft to explore the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These asteroids, which lead and follow Jupiter in its orbit by roughly 60 degrees, hold vital clues to the history of the Solar System.

    Over its 4156 day mission, Lucy will study six of these fascinating worlds. Lucy's launch period opens on October 16, 2021 - 1000 days from today.

    "Lucy provides us with a unique opportunity," said Dr. Harold F. Levison, a program director and chief scientist in SwRI's Boulder office and the principal investigator of the mission.

    "Because the Trojans are remnants of the stuff that formed the outer planets, they are literally the fossils of planet formation. Lucy, like the human fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins."

    Lucy is over halfway to launch. It has been just over 1200 days since Lucy was selected as one of five mission concepts to receive funding to carry out preliminary mission design as part of NASA's Discovery program. And almost 750 days ago Lucy was selected for flight as the 13th Discovery mission.
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    "ULA wins contract to launch NASA’s Lucy mission to visit unexplored asteroids"

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/02/0...red-asteroids/

    NASA has selected United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket to dispatch the Lucy spacecraft on a mission from Cape Canaveral in October 2021 to fly by seven unexplored asteroids, including six objects locked in orbits leading and trailing Jupiter, where scientists expect swarms of miniature worlds could hold clues about the formation of the solar system.

    The space agency announced the contract award to ULA on Thursday, extending the company’s history of launching prominent interplanetary missions, a list that includes still-operating probes such as the InSight and Curiosity landers to Mars, the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter, New Horizons in the Kuiper Belt, and the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.
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    "NASA's Lucy mission confirms discovery of Eurybates Satellite"

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NA...llite_999.html

    NASA's Lucy mission team is seeing double after discovering that Eurybates, the asteroid the spacecraft has targeted for flyby in 2027, has a small satellite. This "bonus" science exploration opportunity for the project was discovered using images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 in September 2018, December 2019, and January 2020.

    Launching in October 2021, Lucy will be the first space mission to study the Trojan asteroids, a population of small bodies orbiting the Sun "leading" and "trailing" Jupiter, at the same distance from the Sun as the gas giant. With flyby encounters past seven different asteroids - one in the Main Asteroid Belt and six in the Trojans, Lucy will be the first space mission in history to explore so many different destinations in independent orbits around our Sun.

    "This newly discovered satellite is more than 6,000 times fainter than Eurybates, implying a diameter less than 1 km," said Southwest Research Institute's Hal Levison, principal investigator of the mission. "If this estimate proves to be correct, it will be among the smallest asteroids visited."
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    "NASA's Lucy mission one step closer to exploring the Trojan Asteroids"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...roids_999.html

    NASA's first mission to explore the Trojan asteroids is one step closer to launch. The Discovery Program's Lucy mission passed a critical milestone and is officially authorized to transition to its next phase.

    This major decision was made after a series of independent reviews of the status of the spacecraft, instruments, schedule and budget. The milestone, known as Key Decision Point-D (KDP-D), represents the official transition from the mission's development stage to delivery of components, testing, assembly and integration leading to launch.
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    "NASA’s First Mission to the Trojan Asteroids Integrates its Second Scientific Instrument"

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard...fic-instrument

    NASA’s Lucy mission is one step closer to launch as L’TES, the Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer, has been successfully integrated on to the spacecraft.

    “Having two of the three instruments integrated onto the spacecraft is an exciting milestone,” said Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy project manager from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The L’TES team is to be commended for their true dedication and determination.”

    Lucy will be the first space mission to study the Trojan asteroids, leftover building blocks of the Solar System’s outer planets orbiting the Sun at the distance of Jupiter. The mission takes its name from the fossilized human ancestor (called “Lucy” by her discoverers) whose skeleton provided unique insight into humanity’s evolution. Likewise, the Lucy mission will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the birth of our solar system more than 4 billion years ago.
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    "NASA's first mission to the Trojan Asteroids installs its final scientific instrument"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...ument_999.html

    With less than a year to launch, NASA's Lucy mission's third and final scientific instrument has been integrated onto the spacecraft. The spacecraft, which will be the first to explore the Trojan asteroids - a population of small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter - is in the final stages of the assembly process.

    Just five months ago, at the beginning of the Assembly, Testing and Launch operations (ATLO) process, the components of the Lucy spacecraft were being built all over the country. Today, a nearly assembled spacecraft sits in the high bay in Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado.
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    The new L'TES technology, developed by a team from Arizona State University (ASU), is a remote thermometer. It will measure the far-infrared energy emitted by Trojan asteroids as the spacecraft Lucy flies over seven of these unprecedented objects during this first-ever mission to this population. The instrument was successfully integrated into the spacecraft on December 16. L'TES will measure the temperature of Trojan asteroids, based on which it will be possible to learn about the properties of various surfaces. Since the spacecraft will not be able to touch the asteroids during these high-speed collisions, the new tool will allow the team to draw inferences about the observed surfaces, such as whether the material is loose, like sand, or compacted like rocks. In addition, L'TES will collect spectral information using thermal infrared observations in the wavelength range of 4 to 50 micrometers.

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    "NASA’s Lucy Stretches Its Wings in Successful Solar Panel Deployment Test"

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard...eployment-test

    NASA’s Lucy spacecraft has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing of both solar panels, the final step in checking out these critical spacecraft components in preparation for launch this fall. Once the Lucy spacecraft’s solar panels are attached and fully extended, they could cover a five-story building.

    Lucy, the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program, requires these large solar panels as it will operate farther from the Sun than any previous solar-powered space mission. During its 12-year tour of the Trojan asteroids, the Lucy spacecraft will operate a record-breaking 530 million miles (853 million km) from the Sun, beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

    “The success of Lucy’s final solar array deployment test marked the end of a long road of development. With dedication and excellent attention to detail, the team overcame every obstacle to ready these solar panels,” said Matt Cox, Lockheed Martin’s Lucy program manager, in Littleton, Colorado. “Lucy will travel farther from the Sun than any previous solar-powered Discovery-class mission, and one reason we can do that is the technology in these solar arrays.”
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    "NASA's Lucy science mission will fly by eight asteroids"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...roids_999.html

    NASA plans to launch its Lucy spacecraft from Florida on Oct. 16 to fly by eight asteroids starting in 2025, marking the first time scientists will gain close-up views of them.

    The spacecraft for the $981 million mission is at Kennedy Space Center for launch preparations, which include packing atop an Atlas V rocket for its 12-year voyage. United Launch Alliance plans to send the probe into space from adjacent Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Lucy will pass by a single asteroid in 2025 on its way to Jupiter's orbit, where its complex trajectory will take it by seven more asteroids in the so-called Trojan Belt.
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    NASA LUCY

    Date: October 16, 2021

    Window: 0534 - 0649 EDT (0934 - 1049 GMT)

    Pad: SLC-41 Cape Canaveral

    Launcher: Atlas V 401 (4m fairing, 0 boosters, 1 engine Centaur upper stage)

    Payload: LUCY - a mission to examine 7 of the Trojan asteroids, which orbit the Sun in front of and behind Jupiter.

    NASA TV, NASA YouTube
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Oct-13 at 09:33 PM.

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    "An Insight in NASA's Lucy Mission with Dr. Cathy Olkin"

    https://www.azoquantum.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=226

    AZoQuantum speaks with Dr. Cathy Olkin, Deputy Principal Investigator (DPI) of NASA's Lucy mission.

    Lucy is scheduled to launch no earlier than 5:34 a.m. (EDT) on Saturday 16th October, on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
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    Nice launch this morning. I hope the rest of the mission is successful.

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    One of Lucy’s solar panels hasn’t latched. It has plenty of power for now and is otherwise doing great, but it has these big solar panels because it is meant to operate much farther from the sun where it will need a large collection area. They are trying to find a way to resolve it.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ed-by-the-sun/

    It will be nice when we can launch these things from a space station with a dedicated support area and have a person that can just go out and fix things like this. Maybe in a decade, if we have regular Starship shuttle runs by then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    One of Lucy’s solar panels hasn’t latched. It has plenty of power for now and is otherwise doing great, but it has these big solar panels because it is meant to operate much farther from the sun where it will need a large collection area. They are trying to find a way to resolve it.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ed-by-the-sun/

    It will be nice when we can launch these things from a space station with a dedicated support area and have a person that can just go out and fix things like this. Maybe in a decade, if we have regular Starship shuttle runs by then.
    With apologies of a slight thread hi-jacking I wonder if this might be an bad omen for the Webb telescope?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    With apologies of a slight thread hi-jacking I wonder if this might be an bad omen for the Webb telescope?
    I saw some comments on that. The background is that the same company worked on the unfolding bits on Webb. One comment said that Webb has gone through especially rigorous testing. And maybe this might prompt a review. I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I saw some comments on that. The background is that the same company worked on the unfolding bits on Webb. One comment said that Webb has gone through especially rigorous testing. And maybe this might prompt a review. I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see.
    That's more discouraging and its rather later in a multibillion dollar investment. Its rather late in a review/testing of the shade deployment. But sometimes a review while delaying a launch might be warranted with this new data.

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    It’s too annoying to link to with the recent Twitter changes for non-subscribers, but Eric Berger has sources that say NASA is optimistic they can successfully resolve the latching issue but it may be awhile before we find out for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    It’s too annoying to link to with the recent Twitter changes for non-subscribers, but Eric Berger has sources that say NASA is optimistic they can successfully resolve the latching issue but it may be awhile before we find out for sure.
    I agree with linking Twitter posts as it always opens another window. IMO it is better to just post the quote and add the Titter link if one desires.

    I do hope NASA is able to latch the solar array.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    It’s too annoying to link to with the recent Twitter changes for non-subscribers, but Eric Berger has sources that say NASA is optimistic they can successfully resolve the latching issue but it may be awhile before we find out for sure.
    Regarding the twitter thing, it works fine for non-subscribers if you open in an incognito window.
    I hope they get the solar panel fixed. It's all too reminiscent of the high gain antenna problem on Galileo.
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    NASA's Lucy mission to the trojans of Jupiter.

    Is this the Boeing jinx two steps removed? The Centaur upper stage booster used for Lucy was originally mated to Starliner for the second orbital test. That stage became available when the engineers had to demate the Starliner from the booster to work on the valve problem. Sure, it was ULA's stage but...
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2021-Oct-19 at 08:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Regarding the twitter thing, it works fine for non-subscribers if you open in an incognito window.
    Yes, we discussed that before. It isn’t always so straightforward. First, it is a bit more of a pain switching back and forth to private mode on this iPad Pro than doing similar in a Windows browser. Second, sometimes (as in this case) not all of the same tweets show up when switching between normal and private mode.

    I hope they get the solar panel fixed. It's all too reminiscent of the high gain antenna problem on Galileo.
    I thought about that. At least with Galileo they still managed to get a successful mission, though undoubtedly they didn’t get as much data and high resolution images back with the low gain antenna.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Yes, we discussed that before. It isn’t always so straightforward. First, it is a bit more of a pain switching back and forth to private mode on this iPad Pro than doing similar in a Windows browser.
    >
    Chrome makes Incognito relatively easy in both Android and Windows. Is it different in iPad?

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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Chrome makes Incognito relatively easy in both Android and Windows. Is it different in iPad?
    On the iPad, Firefox and Chrome are little more than different skins over the same software. Apple strongly limits what other software is allowed to do in their environment.

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    Thanks. I abandoned iOS after iPhone 3.

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