Lucy’s spacecraft opens its “golden wings” to collect sunlight. Photos

Lucy’s spacecraft opens its “golden wings” to collect sunlight. Photos
Lucy’s spacecraft opens its “golden wings” to collect sunlight. Photos

NASA’s robotic spacecraft has opened its golden wings to begin its unique mission in the solar system, targeting the Trojan planets. The successful date of October 16, according to the Russian “Sputnik” agency.

Opening of the ship’s sails in space

According to the scientific magazine “scitechdaily”, the “Lucy” spacecraft spread its wings, to look like a golden butterfly, as two side arrays work to capture the rays in order to convert them into energy for the vehicle to benefit from..

The analyzes indicate that the vehicle is currently collecting energy from the arrays, and the data confirmed the success of the energy storage process, as the batteries are currently being charged, and despite this, the data show that the second array did not open in its entire circular range, but it is working to collect energy successfully..

The wings of the craft when they open in space

The tracking team on the ground analyzes spacecraft data to understand the situation and determine the next steps to achieve the full deployment of the solar arrays, and the “Lucy” mission takes about 12 years, and targets eight asteroids on their way to the planet Mercury and Trojan asteroids.

NASA launched the “Lucy” spacecraft in the early morning of Saturday, October 16, over an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida..

Lucy’s Golden Wings

It is noteworthy that last Sunday, NASA announced that one of the 24-foot-wide solar panels produced by Lucy may not be completely closed, according to an update on the agency’s website. It is unclear what this means for the future of the mission, but NASA She says the mission team is working on analyzing the problem and will come up with next steps in the coming days.

It’s clearly a worrisome situation, but Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, made a positive note after hearing the news, tweeting: “This team has overcome many challenges already and I’m confident they will prevail here too.”

The spacecraft is currently traveling at 67,000 miles per hour on a path that it must see orbiting the sun and returning it to Earth in October of next year to get the help of gravity to send it to its destination.

Planning for the Lucy mission began in 2014, and assuming it overcomes the current problem, it will be NASA’s first single spacecraft mission to explore many different asteroids — eight in total..

“It will be several years before we reach the first Trojan asteroid, but these things are well worth the wait and all, the effort because of their tremendous scientific value,” Lucy mission principal investigator Hal Levison of Southwest Research Institute said while discussing the challenging 12-year endeavor recently. They are like diamonds in the sky.

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