Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page.
Thank you very much for visiting Gunter's Space Page. I hope that this site is useful and informative for you.
If you appreciate the information provided on this site, please consider supporting my work by making a simple and secure donation via PayPal. Please help to run the website and keep everything free of charge. Thank you very much.

Lucy (Discovery 13)

Lucy [Lockheed Martin]

Lucy, a robotic spacecraft, is scheduled to launch in October 2021. Itís slated to arrive at its first destination, a main belt asteroid, in 2025. From 2027 to 2033, Lucy will explore six Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These asteroids are trapped by Jupiterís gravity in two swarms that share the planetís orbit, one leading and one trailing Jupiter in its 12-year circuit around the sun. The Trojans are thought to be relics of a much earlier era in the history of the solar system, and may have formed far beyond Jupiterís current orbit.

Lucy is scheduled to launch in October 2021. Itís slated to arrive at its first destination, a main belt asteroid, in 2025. From 2027 to 2033, Lucy will explore six Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These asteroids are trapped by Jupiterís gravity in two swarms that share the planetís orbit, one leading and one trailing Jupiter in its 12-year circuit around the sun. The Trojans are thought to be relics of a much earlier era in the history of the solar system, and may have formed far beyond Jupiterís current orbit.

Lucy will build on the success of NASAís New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, using newer versions of the RALPH and LORRI science instruments that helped enable the missionís achievements. Several members of the Lucy mission team also are veterans of the New Horizons mission. Lucy also will build on the success of the OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu, with the OTES instrument and several members of the OSIRIS-REx team. Lucy will feature also an additional experimental Laser communications system.

The science instruments are:

  • L'TES (Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer) Ė an instrument built by Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, that will measure the surface temperature of the Trojan asteroids by observing the thermal infrared spectrum, helping to understand the physical properties of the surface material.
  • L'LORRI (Lucy LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LíLORRI) Ė a high resolution, panchromatic visible camera made by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. LíLORRI will provide the most detailed images of the surface of the Trojan asteroids.
  • LíRalph Ė an instrument provided by NASAís Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, that consists of two parts:
    • LíRalph Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA), an infrared imaging spectrometer that will reveal the absorption lines that serve as the fingerprints for different silicates, ices and organics that may be on the surface of the Trojan asteroids, and
    • LíRalph Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), that will take color images of the Trojans to help determine their composition

Following targets will be visited:

  • April 2025: (52246) Donaldjohanson, a 4 km C-type main belt asteroid
  • August 2027: (3548) Euyrbates, a 64 km C-type L4 asteroid and its 1 km moon Queta
  • September 2027: (15094) Polymele, a 21 km P-type L4 asteroid
  • April 2028: (11351) Leucus, a 34 km D-type L4 asteroid
  • October 2028: (21900) Orus, a 51 km C-type L4 asteroid
  • March 2033: (617) Patroclus and Menoetius, a 113 km and 104 km P-type L5 binary asteroid
Nation: USA
Type / Application: Multiple asteroid fly-by
Operator: NASA
Contractors: Lockheed Martin
Equipment: L'TES, L'LORRI, L'Ralph LEISA, L'Ralph MVIC
Configuration:
Propulsion:
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass: 1550 kg
Orbit: Heliocentric
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Lucy (Discovery 13) - 2021 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401)

References:

Cite this page: