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Lucy update: Engineers testing solar panel fix on ground

12 Jan 2022, 22:44 UTC
Lucy update: Engineers testing solar panel fix on ground
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Engineers for the asteroid probe Lucy have begun doing ground tests on a duplicate solar array motor on Earth to see if their plan will work to get the partly deployed solar panel in space opened and latched.
If all goes right, they are aiming for an April attempt at deploying the panel.
In the meantime, the spacecraft continues its coast outwards, presently being about 30 million miles from Earth. Even though one solar array is not fully open, it appears the spacecraft is getting “ample power” for its present operations. It is unclear if this power — with one solar panel not fully opened — will be sufficient once the spacecraft reaches the region of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, much farther from Earth.
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