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HomeScienceIn November, NASA's Lucy spacecraft realigns trajectory for approaching asteroid passage.

In November, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft realigns trajectory for approaching asteroid passage.


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On May 9, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft executed a course-correction maneuver to set the spacecraft on course for its close encounter with the small main-belt asteroid Denkenesh. The maneuver changed the spacecraft’s speed by only about 7.7 mph (3.4 m/s).

Although the spacecraft is currently traveling at approximately 43,000 mph (19.4 km/s), this small push is enough to move the spacecraft approximately 40,000 miles (65,000 km) near the asteroid during a planned encounter on November 1, 2023. The spacecraft will fly only 265 miles (425 km) from a small, half-mile-sized (less than a kilometer) asteroid, while traveling at a relativistic speed of 10,000 mph (4.5 km/s).

Lucy’s team will continue to monitor the spacecraft’s trajectory and will have more opportunities to adjust the flight path if necessary.

Lucy’s team also continues to analyze data collected from its spring instrument calibration campaign and make other preparations for the mission’s first asteroid encounter. This encounter will provide valuable testing of the spacecraft’s systems and procedures to ensure that everything works as expected during the mission’s high-velocity asteroid encounters.

the quote: NASA’s Lucy spacecraft adjusts asteroid flight path in November (2023, May 19), Retrieved May 19, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-nasa-lucy-spacecraft-adjusts-asteroid .html

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