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NASA's Lucy in cruise mode - the problematic solar array is open between 75% and 95%

Lucy was launched on October 17, 2021 on its mission to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids to gain new insights into the formation of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago

Lucy will study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids - thought to be "fossils of planet formation". Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Lucy will investigate Jupiter's Trojan asteroids - thought to be "fossils of planet formation". Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

The Lucy spacecraft remains in cruise mode, which is the normal flight mode for outgoing flights and allows the spacecraft a large degree of autonomy. The spacecraft successfully performed several small planned maneuvers that did not adversely affect the one solar array that was not fully deployed. On October 29, NASA will adjust Lucy's position so that it heads toward Israel in preparation for instrument testing.

Lucy was launched on October 17, 2021 for its mission to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids to gain new insights into the formation of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago,

The last adjustment of the spacecraft's position was on October 26 to allow the team to measure the amount of electrical current moving through the partially opened solar array and thus understand how close that array is to a fully closed state. Analysis shows that the array is open between 75% and 95%. It is now held in place by a specially designed rope to help deploy the arrays during opening.

An emergency response team continues to work to determine what caused the solar array not to fully open. NASA and SwRI are evaluating a variety of options, including the possibility of leaving the array in its current state. Any attempt to safely reopen the array will not occur before November 16th.

All other systems function normally.

Lucy was launched on October 17, 2021 on its mission to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids to gain new insights into the formation of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago,

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