The Lucy spacecraft, released on October 16, 2021, is now over 30 million miles, or 48 million kilometers, from Earth and continues to run securely in “outbound cruise” mode. Besides a solar range that didn’t lock after implementation– a concern the objective group is working to deal with– all spacecraft systems are typical. The varieties are producing sufficient energy, charging the spacecraft’s battery as anticipated under typical operating conditions.
The existing strategy supports a lock effort in the late April timeframe; nevertheless, the group is continuing to study the possibility of leaving the range as is. In the meantime, in the laboratory, they are checking a double motor solar range implementation utilizing both the main and backup motor. The screening intends to identify if engaging both motors at the exact same time uses adequate force to finish the implementation and lock the solar range.
In addition to the solar range activity, the group continues to run regular operations on the spacecraft. The next activity is adjusting assistance, navigation & & control hardware to guarantee pointing precision of the spacecraft.
On January 5, Lucy finished a test to take a look at the characteristics of the spacecraft in order to define the solar range.