NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft: Instruments Checkout A-OK, Progress on Solar Array Glitch

Lucy Spacecraft Deployment

Lucy will explore the Jupiter Trojan asteroids – thought to be “fossils of planet formation.” Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft continues to operate in cruise mode – the standard mode for its orbit away from Earth.

Checkouts for the Lucy instruments were successfully completed on November 8, and all instruments are working normally. Following checkout completion, the instruments were powered off, and the remaining spacecraft subsystem commissioning activities are continuing as scheduled.

Lucy’s Solar Array Anomaly Response Team has made progress searching for the cause of the solar array’s incomplete deployment. The team has used an engineering model of the solar array motor and lanyard to replicate what was observed during the initial solar array deployment. The test data and findings suggest the lanyard may not have wound on the spool as intended. Testing continues to determine what caused this outcome, and a range of scenarios are possible. The team isn’t planning to attempt to move or further characterize the current state of the solar array deployment before Wednesday, December 1, at the earliest.

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