NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft, Built by Lockheed Martin, Begins Journey to Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids | 2021-10-16

NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft, Built by Lockheed Martin, Begins Journey to Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids | 2021-10-16



October 16, 2021

/ PRNewswire / – Mankind takes one step closer to uncovering new knowledge about how our solar system was formed, thanks to a spacecraft named Lucy built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT). NASA’s successfully launched mission



5:34 am ET

this morning.

“Seeing Lucy begin her journey builds the strength of the 500 team members from NASA, Lockheed Martin, the Southwest Research Institute and many other teams who have worked together to bring this mission to life,” said Rich lips, Lockheed Martin Lucy program manager. “It’s a story centered on flexibility, collaboration and ingenuity, which suits the journey that awaits this advanced spacecraft. ”

The spacecraft was designed, built and tested in Lockheed Martin’s Littleton installation, using transformation technology. The Company’s Mission Operations team is now in communication with the spacecraft and will operate it until the end of its mission.

Lucy will be the farthest solar mission from the Sun and will visit a record number of asteroids, all with the aim of studying them for clues to our own origins.

Engineering for an epic journey

Lucy’s 4 billion mile odyssey through the solar system will last 12 years and will pass through eight objects: one main belt asteroid and seven leading and trailing Trojan asteroids. Jupiter in its orbit.

Scientists want to observe these ancient rocks up close, which are said to be perfectly preserved remains of the formation of our outer solar system 4 billion years ago.

With such a long and unforgiving journey through space, Lucy’s engineers designed the spaceship to be ready for anything. Lucy builds on design elements inherited from previous missions built by Lockheed Martin like OSIRIS-REx and MAVEN.

The main features of the Lucy spaceship include:

  • Some 430 unique components, joined by more than 2 miles of wire, 170 square feet of composite structure and more than 12,800 electrical connections
  • Three powerful main instruments for studying the geology, composition and structure of Trojan asteroids
  • Two 24-foot diameter solar panels built by Northrop Grumman, spanning over a four-story building when deployed
  • A rugged thermal design that protects Lucy from extreme ambient temperatures ranging from -250 ° F to + 300 ° F
  • Stand-alone software that allows Lucy to track asteroid targets as she flies at an average speed of 15,000 mph
  • Advanced production parts such as 3D printed brackets and hose clamps, made from three different materials

The team also used the latest collaborative tools and digital engineering techniques on Lucy, including automated testing, digital test review capability, and remote collaboration. These tactics helped the team continue production without missing a change throughout the pandemic.

In search of science for the next generation

The long duration of Lucy’s effort means that a student in 4e degree now might find themselves working on this assignment when they graduate from college.

The spacecraft also got its name from another scientific discovery that students may recognize in their history books.

Just as Lucy’s 3.2 million-year-old skeleton fundamentally changed our understanding of human evolution, this mission aims to change the way we understand how planets – including Earth – were formed. .

Donald Johanson, who discovered the famous fossil in 1974, is thrilled to see the spirit of scientific exploration live through the Lucy mission.

“The mission teaches us something about the interdependence of people in time and space,” he noted. “A poignant moment in the history of mankind that brings the past and the present closer together – and launches us into the future. “

Learn more about the mission

Lockheed Martin Space designed, built, tested and operated Lucy from its Littleton, Colorado, establishment. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center at Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering, security and mission assurance. The Boulder, Colorado a subsidiary of the Southwest Research Institute, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is the main research institution. The instruments were provided by NASA Goddard, Arizona State University and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Marshall Space Flight Center at Huntsville, Alabama, manages the discovery program of the scientific mission directorate of the agency in Washington DC

Learn more about Lucy at For photos, see Lockheed Martin’s Flickr page.

About Lockheed Martin

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a global security and aerospace company employing approximately 114,000 people worldwide and primarily engaged in research, design, development, manufacture, integration and maintenance advanced technology systems, products and services.

Please follow @LMNews on Twitter for the latest announcements and news from across the company.

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