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NASA’s Lucy asteroid mission 10 days from launch

NASA’s Lucy asteroid mission 10 days from launch

Source: Spaceflight Now
Date Published: 10/06/2021

Fueled up for a 12-year mission of exploration, NASA’s Lucy science probe is nearly ready for launch Oct. 16 from Florida’s Space Coast to begin a journey through the solar system to visit eight asteroids, a record number for a single mission. Ground teams completed testing of the Lucy spacecraft last month inside a climate-controlled clean room at the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida, a few miles from the gates to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The tests capped a two-month campaign at Astrotech since the Lucy spacecraft arrived from its Lockheed Martin factory in Colorado. Technicians loaded hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propellants into the probe to feed its small maneuvering thrusters and main engine, which will help steer Lucy toward its asteroid targets. “Lucy is done, and we’re ready to fly,” said Hal Levison, the mission’s principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute, or SWRI, in Boulder, Colorado. The $981 million mission will be the first to explore a population of asteroids called the Trojans, which orbit the sun ahead of and behind

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