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La sonda Lucy della NASA arriva con un aereo cargo

Lucy, the last stop before the asteroids

January 2021 test on large circular solar panel deployment for the Lucy mission. Credits: Credit: Lockheed Martin

LucyThe first NASA probe designed for exploration Trojan asteroids Jupiter – With a population of Small ancient objects that share the orbit of the gas planet – On Friday, July 30, he arrived at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft is now in a clean room, ready to begin final preparations for launch, expected in a 23-day window from the next. October 16 In the Cape Canaveral Space Station.

During her primary twelve-year mission, Lucy A . will explore Record of asteroids flying over it One main belt asteroid and seven Trojan asteroids (of between it Little moon of an asteroid). The latter are the remnants of the primitive solar system, and are now trapped in stable orbits associated with the giant planet, around which two “swarms” are formed that precede and follow Jupiter in its path around the sun, grouped around fixed points of gravitational equilibrium known as Lagrange points.

The probe was flown from Buckley Space Base in Aurora, Colorado, aboard a US Air Force C-17 cargo plane. Directly in Colorado, at Littleton’s factories in Lockheed Martin SpaceThe spacecraft was designed and assembled.

NASA's Lucy probe arrives in a cargo plane

NASA’s Lucy probe arrives in a cargo plane and is unloaded on the runway of the launch and landing facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 30, 2021. Credits: NASA/Kim Shivlet

Lucy is now ready to start her work Last round of testing and pre-launch checks, which includes software testing, instrumentation and power supply functional testing, propellant payload testing, communications testing, and self-testing of the spacecraft itself.

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“It’s hard to believe we’re finally here after more than seven years of hard work,” he says. Hal Levison, Lucy’s manager southwest research institute Boulder, Colorado. “We wouldn’t have done it without a very talented and dedicated team. It’s time to take Lucy into space, so she can recreate her revolutionary scientific vision about the origin of our planetary system.”