Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19927
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

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. ...

viewtopic.php?t=36703
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19927
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

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. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17145
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Lucy: Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

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


Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19927
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

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. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19927
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

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. ...
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor