Space Mission: Ongoing Problems with Lucy’s Sails

Image (Credit): Artist’s rendering of Lucy near an asteroid. The two large discs are the solar arrays. (Southwest Research Institute)

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft continues to face some engineering issues as it travels away from Earth after the first of two flybys before it can reach the Trojan asteroids where it will begin its survey. While the earlier problems with deploying its solar array continue, the matter will most likely need to be resolved in 2024 when the spacecraft is closer to Earth again. Fortunately, the array is 98 percent deployed, so there is no risk to the 12-year mission at this time.

NASA will keep all of us posted. You can read more about the solar array issues here.

Image (Credit):  Lucy’s orbital path (shown in green). (NASA)