August tenth, 2021
NASA’s first spacecraft to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, Lucy, has arrived in Florida prematurely of its October 2021 launch.
On Friday, July 30, 2021, a C-17 cargo airplane carrying NASA’s Lucy spacecraft arrived on the former House Shuttle Touchdown Facility, now merely referred to as the Launch and Touchdown Facility, at Kennedy House Middle in Florida.
Designed and constructed by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, the spacecraft made its approach safely enclosed in a cargo container from Buckley House Drive Base in Aurora, Colorado.
After Lucy arrived at KSC, it was offloaded from the behemoth plane and transported to the Astrotech spacecraft processing and checkout facility to obtain ultimate preparations and fueling earlier than its launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. Liftoff is slated to happen throughout a 23-day window that opens Oct. 16.
“It takes numerous coordination and cautious planning to get this spacecraft to its launch web site, and I’m very happy with the group who labored so tirelessly by way of a worldwide pandemic to get us to this second,” Wealthy Lipe, Lockheed Martin Lucy program supervisor, said in a NASA news release.
Lucy represents NASA’s first mission to the swarm of asteroids often called the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These are a cluster of asteroids situated on both facet of Jupiter and alongside its similar orbital path.
The mission is anticipated to contain taking the spacecraft on two separate passes of Earth for gravity-assisted boosts: one in 2022 and one other in 2024. From there, Lucy will start its journey to seven separate asteroids in the Trojan swarm.
The mission was aptly named after the Lucy hominem skeleton, which represented a key constructing block within the evolutionary strategy of the human species. NASA hopes this mission will assist to find the foundational blueprints that time towards the early beginnings of the photo voltaic system.
Video courtesy of NASA
Having a life-long curiosity in crewed area flight, Desforges’ ardour materialized on a household trip in 1999 when he was ready see the launch of House Shuttle Discovery on STS-96. Since then, Desforges has been an fanatic of area exploration efforts. He lived in Orlando, Florida for a 12 months, throughout which period he had the chance to witness the flights of the historic CRS-4 and EFT-1 missions in particular person at Cape Canaveral. He earned his Personal Pilot Certificates in 2017, holds a level in Aviation Administration, and presently works as an Operations Analyst within the aviation trade in Georgia.