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NASA will begin remotely repairing the Lucy spacecraft this week

BingMag.com <b>NASA</b> will <b>begin</b> <b>remotely</b> <b>repairing</b> the <b>Lucy</b> <b>spacecraft</b> this week

NASA is launching an important space operation this week, and as Lucy's spacecraft moves toward its destination, it is set to remotely take the first step. Run a flawed solar array to fully open.

It was April 18 (April 29) that NASA announced plans to complete the unopened solar array with the Lucy spacecraft. The spacecraft is powered by two large assemblies of solar cells that must be opened in an origami position after launch. One of the fan-like arrays worked as planned and opened, but the other stopped only moments after the operation began.

  • Origami-based engineering; Magnificent combination of science and art

Lucy's engineers, by combining the precise features of Lucy's in-flight solar array and ground tests, found that the unlocked solar array was fully open at approximately 345 degrees It is fully 360 degrees and with 75 to 95% deployment, it even generates enough energy for the spacecraft. However, if the spacecraft turns on one of its main engines in the current configuration, experts are concerned about possible damage to the solar array. The sun was turning, they opened. The mission team estimates that 50 to 100 centimeters of this approximately 740-centimeter section will still need to be unlocked to fully lock the array. There is a reliability factor for deploying a solar array that is critical to the mission. Lucy engineers use this added power to produce higher torque than the post-launch deployment process by using both engines simultaneously. Based on ground tests, this extra torque may be enough to pull the locking strap to the remaining distance.

BingMag.com <b>NASA</b> will <b>begin</b> <b>remotely</b> <b>repairing</b> the <b>Lucy</b> <b>spacecraft</b> this week

Lucy probe opening solar arrays
Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The team is now preparing to complete the deployment of the solar array in two stages Is. The first step, tentatively scheduled for May 9, is to draw most of the rest of the string and confirm that the results of the operation are consistent with ground tests. This step also strengthens the solar array by approaching it in a fully tensile state. Because this step is designed to have a limited time, the array will probably not be locked at that point.

Will find. The information collected from the first step helps to fine-tune the second step. The second phase is now scheduled for a month after the initial effort to give engineers enough time to parse the data seen in the first step. Jupiter's orbit is being explored. These asteroids, known as Trojan asteroids, have survived since the formation of the solar system and are grouped in two stable gravitational regions, the Lagrangian points 4 and 5 of the Sun-Jupiter. At such a distance from the Sun, the proper functioning of the spacecraft's solar arrays is essential to continue the mission and to have fully charged batteries. The main year of the mission is to study the target asteroids. The spacecraft will reach its first target in 2025, and after meeting several other asteroids, will move to the inner solar system in 2027 to prepare for its second trojan visit in 2033 with the help of Earth's gravity in 2031. The mission is named after a three-million-year-old humanoid fossil discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. Lucy is thus both a homage to the science of roots and possibly a reference to the Beatles song that inspired the name of the anthropomorphic fossil. Lucy's main researcher, Hal Levison, had previously compared Trojan asteroids to jewels because of their great scientific value.

Cover Photo: Graphic Design of NASA's Lucy spacecraft Complete Solar Arrays
Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sources: SchiTechDaily, Inverse

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