A NASA spacecraft will fly by Earth
This Sunday, a spaceship referred to as Lucy will take to the skies – solely with out the diamonds.
NASA’s Lucy spacecraft. will circle Earth, coming inside only a few hundred miles of us on its journey to Jupiter’s distant Trojan asteroids.
The spacecraft will cross 220 miles above Earth’s floor on Sunday morning, NASA mentioned in an announcement.
And a few fortunate observers will have the ability to spot Lucy from Earth, NASA says.
The asteroid-hopping spacecraft shall be seen from Western Australia round 6:55 a.m. EST. However in a couple of minutes he’ll disappear from sight. At 7:26 a.m. EST, it must be seen within the western United States—offered skies are clear and sky watchers have first rate binoculars.
Coming so near Earth, the spacecraft must journey by means of an space with loads of satellites and particles. NASA is implementing particular procedures to forestall Lucy from hitting something throughout her journey.
“The Lucy crew ready two totally different maneuvers,” Karoli Adam, crew chief for Lucy’s deputy navigation crew at KinetX Aerospace, mentioned in a launch. “If the crew detects that Lucy is vulnerable to collision with a satellite tv for pc or particles, then 12 hours earlier than the closest method to Earth, the spacecraft will carry out certainly one of these, altering the time of the closest method by two or 4. seconds.
“It is a small correction, however it’s sufficient to keep away from a doubtlessly catastrophic collision.”
Lucy’s 12-year mission was launched in October 2021. The objective of the mission is to discover the Trojan asteroids orbiting Jupiter. Asteroids have by no means been straight noticed earlier than; the picture above reveals an illustration of lucy approaching one of many asteroids. But when all goes based on plan, Lucy will present the primary high-resolution pictures of asteroids.
Throughout its mission, the spacecraft will fly by the Earth a complete of thrice. Moving into Earth orbit helps give Lucy the push to proceed on her journey.
“The final time we noticed the spacecraft, it was locked within the payload fairing in Florida,” mentioned Hal Levison, Lucy’s principal investigator on the Southwest Analysis Institute workplace in Boulder, Colorado, referring to the protecting nostril cone. , which was used in the course of the launches. “It is nice that we’ll have the ability to stand right here in Colorado and see the spacecraft once more.
“And this time Lucy shall be in heaven.”
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