Home Science NASA Pauses Attempts to Fix Lucy’s Pesky Solar Array

NASA Pauses Attempts to Fix Lucy’s Pesky Solar Array

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Illustration of the Lucy spacecraft with both circular solar arrays fully deployed.
figure: Southwest Institute

NASA is taking a break trial expand probe It’s too cold that effort when deploying the array Fruitful as Lucy approaches the Sun in December 2024.

Ahafter launch October 2021one of the spaceshipss2 24 feet wide (7 meters wide) solar array, supply Power to Lucy, completely failed spread, remains stuck in the unlatched position. While NASA is creating Previous Attempts to Fully Deploy the Arrayagency The Lucy team announced in a blog post that they will be pausing and try to expand the array completely by saying the spacecraft too cold.

That said, NASA doesn’t bother with this issue. in a blog post The array should be 98% deployed and able to survive the rest of the period. Lucy’s 12-year mission to visit Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids.

Details of this story: 7 things to know about NASA’s first mission to the Jupiter Trojan asteroids

NASA communications officer Erin Morton said in a post last week, “Ground-based tests have shown that deployment attempts are most effective when the spacecraft is warmer and closer to the sun.” The plane is now 123 million miles (197 million kilometers) from the sun (1.3 times the distance from the sun as it is on Earth) and is moving away at 20,000 mph (35,000 km/h), so the team has to expand further. I do not expect any attempt to be beneficial under the current circumstances.”

NASA noticed a problem with the solar array Immediately after starting the missionand guessed it was the loss of strap tension Used to expand circular arrays. Lucy is currently far from the Sun and is getting colder, but is scheduled to return to Earth for gravity assistance in December 2024. At this point, the Lucy team hopes the spacecraft will be warm enough to try again.

In the meantime, the team behind Lucy continues her mission to visit, collecting data on the malfunctioning solar array to see how it operates in a slightly helpless state. Check whether Jupiter Trojan Asteroids.

More: NASA’s lunar-facing lunar flashlight is experiencing thruster issues

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