the probe will continue to operate

Lucy is equipped with a pair of 7 meter wide solar panels.

Lucy is equipped with a pair of solar panels from 7 meters wide.
Image: Nasa

some hours start a 12 year trip towards Jupiter Trojan asteroids, Lucy spacecraft encountered a problem. One of their solar panels refused open up completely and the mission controllers worked on it from. However, we finally good news, the mission team seems to have made great progress.

Since Lucy jumped into space in October 2021, NASA engineers attempted to unlock one of the panels solar of the spaceship. After seven attemptsthe solar panel managed to reach between 353 and 357 degrees of opening compared to 360 degrees that it was originally intended to occupy. Unable to complete a perfect circlebut NASA says it will be good enough for let lucy continue your mission.

LLucy’s mission is explore the trojan asteroidstwo groups of rocky bodies which they follow Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun. To survive her long journey in space, Lucy is equipped with two huge solar panels of 7 meters each. Panels traveled along Lucy en an Atlas V rocket and were designed unfold later as if by a fan it was. However, during the deployment phase, one of Lucy’s solar panels got stuck Arriving at 347 degrees. This left the mission leader worried if the the matrix has been damaged even more when the spaceship was about to light up its main engine.

“We have an incredibly talented team, but it was important to give them time to find out what happened. and how to proceedHal Levison, Lucy’s principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute, said in a statement. “Fortunately, the spacecraft was where it was supposed to be, operating normally and safely.”.

The team contributed ideas for months and finally found two possible solutions: maintain the network at 347 degrees or start pulling the fastener from the network using the spacecraft’s backup engine. However, before doing anything, they had to assess the risks associated with each option. For this cbuild a replica of the engine and they pushed it to the limit to see how it would perform in space.

Después de meses de simulaciones, la NASA decidió que intentaría desplegar completamente los paneles de Lucy a través de una serie de intrincadas maniobras, todo esto mientras la nave se encontraba a 96 millones de kilómetros de la Tierra.

Entre los meses de mayo y junio y después de siete intentos, el panel solar de Lucy se pudo abrir casi por completo. “Si bien los paneles no están completamente desplegados, están bajo una tensión sustancialmente mayor, lo que los hacen lo suficientemente estables como para que la nave espacial funcione correctamente”, explicaba la NASA en un comunicado.

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