Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

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Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

Post by bystander » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:27 pm

Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans Given the Green Light for Development
NASA | Goddard Space Flight Center | Lucy | 2018 Oct 30
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. (Credits: Southwest Research Institute)

NASA's mission to perform the first reconnaissance of the Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter, passed a critical milestone today. 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.

The next major mission milestone, the Critical Design Review, will examine the detailed Lucy system design. After a successful critical design review, the project team will assemble the spacecraft and its instruments. ...

Lucy, the first space mission to study the Trojans, 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 formation of the solar system.

Lucy is planned for launch October 2021. During its 12-year journey, the spacecraft will visit seven different asteroids - a Main Belt asteroid and six Trojans. The spacecraft and a remote-sensing instrument suite will study the geology, surface composition, and bulk physical properties of these bodies at close range. ...

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Lucy in the Sky with … Asteroids?

Post by bystander » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:10 pm

Lucy in the Sky with … Asteroids?
NASA | GSFC | Lucy | 2018 Nov 21
A little over 4 billion years ago, the planets in our solar system coexisted with vast numbers of small rocky or icy objects orbiting the Sun. These were the last remnants of the planetesimals – the primitive building blocks that formed the planets. Most of these leftover objects were then lost, as shifts in the orbits of the giant planets scattered them to the distant outer reaches of the solar system or beyond. But some were captured in two less-distant regions, near points where the gravitational influence of Jupiter and the Sun balance, and have remained trapped there, mostly untouched, for billions of years.

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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Re: Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

Post by neufer » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:54 pm


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SwRI: Lucy Mission Completes Critical Design Review

Post by bystander » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:34 pm

Lucy Mission Completes Critical Design Review
Southwest Research Institute | 2019 Oct 21
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Fossils of Planet Formation: Lucy Mission Teaser ~ Credit: NASA GSFC/Dan Gallagher
The Lucy mission led by Southwest Research Institute is one step closer to its 2021 launch to explore the Trojan asteroids, a population of ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter. With the successful completion of its critical design review last week, the Lucy spacecraft is on track to begin a 12-year journey of almost 4 billion miles to visit a record-breaking seven asteroids — one main belt asteroid and six Trojans.

“The Trojan asteroids are leftovers from the early days of our solar system, effectively fossils of the planet formation process,” said SwRI’s Harold Levison, the principal investigator of the mission. “They hold vital clues to deciphering the history of our solar system. Lucy, like the human ancestor fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins.”

The design review was a major mission milestone. An independent board including members from NASA and several external organizations evaluated all aspects of the Lucy mission, from the spacecraft and instrument payload to flight hardware and software, systems engineering, mission assurance, ground systems and overall science mission. This marks the end of Lucy’s design phase and a shift to building the spacecraft and instruments that will explore the diverse Trojan asteroids. ...
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SwRI: Lucy Has a New Destination

Post by bystander » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:20 pm

Lucy Mission Has a New Destination
Southwest Research Institute | 2020 Jan 09
eurybates-satellite.gif
Hubble images of Eurybates and its newly discovered satellite shown in this animated
gif alternate between the Jan. 3, 2020, detection of the satellite (circled in green) and
the Dec. 11, 2019, data when the satellite was too close to the primary to be observed.
Credit: NASA, HST, and Noll

Less than two years before launch, scientists associated with NASA’s Lucy mission, led by Southwest Research Institute, have discovered an additional small asteroid that will be visited by the Lucy spacecraft. Set to launch in 2021, its 12-year journey of almost 4 billion miles will explore the Trojan asteroids, a population of ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter.

This first-ever mission to the Trojans was already going to break records by visiting seven asteroids during a single mission. Now, using data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Lucy team discovered that the first Trojan target, Eurybates, has a satellite. This discovery provides an additional object for Lucy to study. ...

The small object was difficult to spot, in part, because Eurybates is 6,000 times brighter than its satellite. This implies that it’s less than 1 km (0.5 miles) across, which, if correct, would make it among the smallest objects ever visited by a spacecraft. ...

While the current data are enough to confirm the existence of the satellite, the Lucy team will collect more HST data later this year to better understand the object’s orbit. ...
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SwRI: Lucy One Step Closer to Jupiter's Trojan Asteroids

Post by bystander » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:25 pm

Lucy Mission One Step Closer to Jupiter's Trojan Asteroids
Southwest Research Institute | 2020 Aug 03
NASA’s Lucy mission, led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has achieved an important milestone by passing its System Integration Review and clearing the way for spacecraft assembly. This NASA Discovery Program class mission will be the first to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter and hold important insights to understanding the early solar system.

The Lucy spacecraft, during its nominal 12-year mission, will fly by and collect data from seven of these primitive worlds, plus a main belt asteroid. Because the Trojan asteroids are remnants of the primordial material that formed the outer planets, they hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system. Lucy, like the human fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins.

Over the last few months, the Lucy team has focused on building and testing all the components of the spacecraft, including the scientific instruments, electronics, communications and navigation systems while observing all appropriate pandemic protocols. At this review, the Lucy team demonstrated to an independent senior review board, including NASA and external experts, that the systems and subsystems are on schedule to proceed to assembly, testing and integration. ...
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Lucy: Mission Approved for Final Development

Post by bystander » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:26 pm

Mission to the Trojan Asteroids Passes NASA Milestone
Southwest Research Institute | 2020 Aug 28
NASA has approved the final development stage of the Southwest Research Institute-led Lucy mission to explore the Trojan asteroids in preparation for its October 2021 launch.

The space agency’s approval follows independent reviews of the spacecraft, instruments, schedule and budget. This milestone, known as Key Decision Point-D (KDP-D), represents the official transition from final design and fabrication (Phase C) to systems delivery, testing, assembly and integration (Phase D). During this part of the mission’s life cycle the design and fabrication of the spacecraft is completed, and the instruments are integrated into the spacecraft and tested. The spacecraft will then be shipped next summer to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the launch vehicle. ...

Assembly, Testing and Launch Operations (ATLO) began on schedule at Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado. ...

The oxidizer tank has been integrated with the spacecraft, and the instruments will be delivered to Lockheed Martin starting in October. All spacecraft assembly and testing will occur at the Colorado facility in preparation for the launch window opening on October 16, 2021.

After launch, Lucy will still have a long path ahead flying out to the distance of Jupiter to make close fly-bys past a record-breaking number of asteroids. The spacecraft will encounter the first of its eight targets, a main belt asteroid, in 2025. Lucy will reach the first of seven Trojan asteroids in 2027 and fly past the final binary pair in 2033.

Lucy’s next major milestone is the Mission Operation Review scheduled for October 2020, which assesses the project’s operational readiness and its progress towards launch. At that time, the mission will demonstrate that its navigation, planning, command and science operations requirements are complete. ...
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Re: Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

Post by John Done » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:10 am

It is important to note that in 2015, in addition to the Lucy mission, the Psyche mission was approved. The launch of the device of the same name was originally scheduled for 2023. In February 2019, SpaceX assured that it would be able to launch Lucy itself, but after a month it lost interest in the project.

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Re: Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

Post by bystander » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:36 pm

John Done wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:10 am
It is important to note that in 2015, in addition to the Lucy mission, the Psyche mission was approved. The launch of the device of the same name was originally scheduled for 2023. In February 2019, SpaceX assured that it would be able to launch Lucy itself, but after a month it lost interest in the project.
viewtopic.php?t=36703#p292931
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Re: Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

Post by neufer » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:57 pm

bystander wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:36 pm
John Done wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:10 am

It is important to note that in 2015, in addition to the Lucy mission, the Psyche mission was approved. The launch of the device of the same name was originally scheduled for 2023. In February 2019, SpaceX assured that it would be able to launch Lucy itself, but after a month it lost interest in the project.
viewtopic.php?t=36703#p292931
Art Neuendorffer