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PM_ME_A_FUTURE t1_isz939c wrote

How does this work? Is Lucy in orbit around the sun and set to skim by earth once a year? Edit: Nvm, next pass is in 2024, then lastly in 2030. Ty tectonic.


rocketsocks t1_it3igp2 wrote

Lucy is orbiting the Sun and will perform several gravity assists at Earth in order to get to higher orbits where it can perform flybys of Trojan asteroids in Jupiter's L4/L5 Lagrange points. With two gravity assists, one this year and one in 2024, it'll be able to visit the L4 point where it will visit 4 asteroids in the L4 "camp" in 2027 and 2028. It'll return to Earth for another gravity assist in 2030 before visiting the L5 "camp" in 2033.

Several outer solar system probes have used inner planet gravity assists. Galileo used one assist at Venus and two at Earth to make it to Jupiter while Cassini used two Venus flybys, one Earth flyby, and one Jupiter flyby to get to Saturn.


Razkal719 t1_iszcobq wrote

Did they ever get the second solar array fully unfurled?


tectonic OP t1_iszeq7n wrote

It’s not fully latched but they think it’s okay. This pass was raised slightly to reduce atmospheric drag out of fear of dislodging that panel.


bendoubles t1_it2dm4m wrote

They used both the main and backup motor together to winch the panel as far it would go and get extra tension in the cabling. It's something like 98% open now. They expect it should be good for the rest of the mission.


mattmann72 t1_it1lf93 wrote

OMG. NASA is stealing the earth's momentum. We must protest this to put an end to it. They are going to kill the planet if this keeps up!

I hate articles with titles like that. It's a freaking science article at least use proper terminology. FFS!


ElongatedTime t1_it1fuyg wrote

It’s not really stealing momentum. The velocity that it enters the Earth’s SOI is exactly the same as when it exits the SOI. The difference is the direction that it is heading, putting it on a more elliptical heliocentric orbit.


livinginspace t1_it1s1d9 wrote

Source? I'm pretty sure this is a slingshot maneuver, and they will always steal momentum from the planetary body.