Author Topic: NASA - Lucy - (Trojan Asteroid Flyby) - Updates and Discussion  (Read 71215 times)

Offline redliox

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Beginning a dedicated thread to the Lucy Discovery mission to flyby the Trojan asteroids.

It's just passed the Key Decision Point C Review.  The Lucy team will officially begin spacecraft and instrument design before moving into Critical Design Review, after which Lucy will actually get built.  The mission itself will launch in 3 years in the October of 2021.

The official mission webpage: http://lucy.swri.edu/
NASA's Lucy webpage: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/lucy-the-first-mission-to-jupiter-s-trojans


Lucy launch thread, October 16, 2021
« Last Edit: 10/20/2021 08:50 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline jeffkruse

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Fossils of Planet Formation: Lucy Mission Teaser

NASA Goddard
Oct 21, 2019

Beyond the asteroid belt are "fossils of planet formation" known as the Trojan asteroids. These primitive bodies share Jupiter's orbit in two vast swarms, and may hold clues to the formation and evolution of our solar system. Now, NASA is preparing to explore the Trojan asteroids for the first time. A mission called Lucy will launch in 2021 and visit seven asteroids over the course of twelve years - one in the main belt and six in Jupiter's Trojan swarms.

Lucy is named for the famous hominid fossil that shed light on our early human ancestors; by making the first exploration of the Trojan asteroids, the Lucy mission will improve our understanding of the early solar system, and be the first to uncover these fossils of planet formation.

Learn more about the Lucy mission: https://www.nasa.gov/lucy

Universal Production Music: Canyon of Dreams

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13352

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Dan Gallagher

Tony De La Rosa

Offline jbenton

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Sorry this is late ;)

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-lucy-mission-confirms-discovery-of-eurybates-satellite

Quote
Jan. 9, 2020


NASA’s Lucy Mission Confirms Discovery of Eurybates Satellite
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.

...

“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.”Eurybates was first observed with Hubble in a search for small satellites in 2018, but it wasn’t until this past November when a Lucy team member noticed something in the data indicating a possible satellite.

“We asked for more Hubble time to confirm, and they gave us three tries,” said Keith Noll, Lucy project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and a co-discoverer of the satellite. 

The team was quick to make the first set of confirmation observations in December and early January. The possible satellite was hard to see and moving on an unknown orbit around the much brighter Eurybates. There was no guarantee that it would be visible in the new images. “In the first two observations in December we didn’t see anything, so we began to think we might be unlucky. But on the third orbit, there it was,” said Noll.

The team is working with Hubble schedulers to decide when to make the next observations after Eurybates becomes observable again. Due to the orbits of Earth and Eurybates, and because Hubble cannot be pointed toward the Sun, further observations are not possible until June. In the meantime, the team is using current observation data to study the satellite’s orbit around the asteroid, which will help scientists determine the best times for observations.

While there is no impact to the spacecraft architecture or schedule, the project team is carefully planning how to safely examine the new satellite while ensuring the mission’s requirement to study Eurybates is fully met.

...

“There are only a handful of known Trojan asteroids with satellites, and the presence of a satellite is particularly interesting for Eurybates,” said Thomas Statler, Lucy Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It’s the largest member of the only confirmed Trojan collisional family – roughly 100 asteroids all traceable to, and probably fragments from, the same collision.”

The opportunity to study a prospective collisional satellite at close range will help our fundamental understanding of collisions, which Statler says may be responsible for the formation of satellites in other small body populations.

...

« Last Edit: 02/01/2020 03:06 am by jbenton »

Offline Citabria

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Nice animations of the trajectory:
http://lucy.swri.edu//mission/Tour.html

Offline zubenelgenubi

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FYI: Atlas V 401 launch campaign thread here.
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Offline redliox

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Recent news: NASA’s Lucy Mission One Step Closer to Exploring the Trojan Asteroids

Quote
Aug. 28, 2020
NASA’s Lucy Mission One Step Closer to Exploring the Trojan Asteroids
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. During this part of the mission’s life cycle, known as Phase D, the spacecraft bus (the structure that will carry the science instruments) is completed, the instruments are integrated into the spacecraft and tested, and the spacecraft is shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the launch vehicle.

“Each phase of the mission is more exciting than the last,” says Lucy Principal Investigator Hal Levison of Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, CO. “While, of course, Lucy still has several years and a few billion miles to go before we reach our real goal – exploring the never-before-seen Trojan asteroids – seeing this spacecraft come together is just incredible.”

...

The oxidizer tank has already been integrated with the spacecraft, and the instrument integration starts in October. All spacecraft assembly and testing will be completed by the end of July 2021, when the spacecraft will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida in preparation for the launch window opening on October 16, 2021. After launch, Lucy will have a long cruise phase before it arrives at its first target. Lucy is flying out to the distance of Jupiter to make close fly-bys past a record-breaking number of asteroids, encountering the first of eight targets in April 2025 and the final binary pair of asteroids in March 2033.

The next major milestone is the Mission Operation Review, scheduled in October 2020, which assesses the project's operational readiness and its progress towards launch.

Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, is the principal investigator institution for Lucy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin Space near Denver is building the spacecraft and will perform spacecraft flight operations. Instruments will be provided by Goddard, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, and Arizona State University.
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Offline jbenton

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First Scientific Instrument Installed on NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft

Before the NASA Lucy mission can begin its long journey to the Trojan asteroids, the first scientific camera to be delivered to the spacecraft had to take a 1,500 mile journey across the continental United States.

The Lucy LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (L’LORRI) traveled from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Maryland, where it was built and tested, to Lockheed Martin Space, in Littleton, Colorado, where the spacecraft is being assembled.  It was received safely at Lockheed Martin on October 25 and was successfully integrated onto the spacecraft on October 30.

“Lucy is an amazing spacecraft, but I’m always looking forward to the day when we start getting data from these never before seen fossils of the solar system,” says Lucy principal investigator, Hal Levison.  “Now that we have installed the first scientific instrument, we are one step closer to that day. I would like to thank the APL team for all their hard work getting the instrument to the spacecraft on time during the COVID19 pandemic.”

The Trojan asteroids are two groups of asteroids that lead and trail Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun. Scientists have evidence that these asteroids may have been scattered from all over the outer solar system early in the solar system’s history, and have been trapped in these stable locations for over four billion years. No spacecraft has ever been to this population of small bodies, and Lucy will fly by seven of these Trojan asteroids, plus a main belt asteroid, allowing it to survey the diversity of this population in a single record-breaking mission.

L’LORRI is the first scientific instrument to be installed on Lucy. L’LORRI is sometimes referred to as Lucy’s “eagle eyes” because it has the highest spatial resolution of all of Lucy’s cameras. This instrument, which is panchromatic (covering 0.35 to 0.85 microns), will produce black and white images that will provide the most detailed views of the surfaces of these never before seen bodies.

“L’LORRI is quite similar to its predecessor, the LORRI instrument that flew on New Horizons and sent back incredible images of the Pluto system and the Kuiper belt object Arrokoth,” says Hal Weaver, lead of the instrument team at APL. “I can’t wait to see the images from this L’LORRI instrument and what they will teach us about the Trojan asteroids.”

In addition to L’LORRI, two more scientific instruments will be added to Lucy over the next few months.  L’TES (the Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer), is being built at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.  L’Ralph, which is being built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland, is two instruments in one, a color visible imager (the Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera, MVIC) and an infrared imaging spectrometer (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array, LEISA). Together, along with the Terminal Tracking cameras T2CAM and the High Gain Antenna, which will facilitate both communications and radio science, these instruments will reveal this never before explored population of asteroids in unprecedented detail.

“The L’LORRI Pre-Environmental Review was held back in early August and to see what this team has accomplished over the last several months, under a pandemic, is astonishing,” said Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy project manager from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “I commend the L’LORRI team for their hard work, resiliency, and dedication.  I'm looking forward to the first time we power up L’LORRI on the spacecraft.”

Southwest Research Institute’s Hal Levison and Cathy Olkin are the principal investigator and deputy principal investigator of the Lucy Mission.  NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center provides overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin Space is building the spacecraft. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Discovery Program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/first-scientific-instrument-installed-on-lucy-spacecraft

Offline redliox

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Offline catdlr

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same animated video on YouTube

Lucy's Journey: Episode 1

Tony De La Rosa

Offline whitelancer64

Is there any chance that, on a mission extension, Lucy might fly by 624 Hektor?
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Offline vjkane

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Is there any chance that, on a mission extension, Lucy might fly by 624 Hektor?
I don't know about it flying by 624 Hektor, but in the press conference announcing the selection of Lucy and Psyche, the Lucy PI said that the team had looked at extended mission options, and one included a flyby of the Psyche asteroid (now, obviously no longer needed).

Lucy could be the mission that just keeps giving.  I presume that the limiting factor is fuel for the targeted flybys; there could be a number of flybys past the prime mission.

Offline redliox

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Is there any chance that, on a mission extension, Lucy might fly by 624 Hektor?
I don't know about it flying by 624 Hektor, but in the press conference announcing the selection of Lucy and Psyche, the Lucy PI said that the team had looked at extended mission options, and one included a flyby of the Psyche asteroid (now, obviously no longer needed).

Lucy could be the mission that just keeps giving.  I presume that the limiting factor is fuel for the targeted flybys; there could be a number of flybys past the prime mission.

I'd love to see a Hektor flyby, in part because it was the first binary/contact asteroid discovered and how it remains the largest known Trojan.  I keep forgetting which Trojan cloud it's part of although I think the "Greek camp."
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Offline Phil Stooke

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Hektor was the Prince of Troy, killed by the Greek Achilles.

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Offline jbenton

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Is there any chance that, on a mission extension, Lucy might fly by 624 Hektor?
I don't know about it flying by 624 Hektor, but in the press conference announcing the selection of Lucy and Psyche, the Lucy PI said that the team had looked at extended mission options, and one included a flyby of the Psyche asteroid (now, obviously no longer needed).

Lucy could be the mission that just keeps giving.  I presume that the limiting factor is fuel for the targeted flybys; there could be a number of flybys past the prime mission.

I'd love to see a Hektor flyby, in part because it was the first binary/contact asteroid discovered and how it remains the largest known Trojan.  I keep forgetting which Trojan cloud it's part of although I think the "Greek camp."
Hektor was the Prince of Troy, killed by the Greek Achilles.
That is correct. 624 Hektor, however is in the "Greek camp", for whatever reason. The only other one to be in the wrong camp is 617 Patroclus which is in the "Trojan camp". The fact that those are the only two seems kind of fitting to me.

Offline Phil Stooke

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Achilles was the first 'trojan' discovered, then Hektor, both at L4.  Then Patroclus was discovered at L5.  Only after that did the idea come about of putting Greek names in L4 and Trojan names in L5, so the later names conform to that idea, but that left Hektor and Patroclus in the wrong places.  They are regarded as spies in the camps of their enemies.


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