NASA recently launched the Lucy spacecraft en route to explore a great number of asteroids. Unfortunately, a solar panel jammed on the ship shortly after its October 16 liftoff. The spacecraft is set for a 12-year journey where it will examine an unprecedented amount of asteroids.
NASA reported on Wednesday that one of Lucy’s two giant circular solar panels is only between 75% and 95 % extended. They determined the percentage after measuring the electric current in the spacecraft. Any attempt to reopen the wing, which is 24 feet in diameter, would occur after mid-November.
There is no rush to this issue as so far the problem has not affected the ship’s outbound flight. According to NASA, everything else on the craft is functioning properly. The mission has nearly cost US$1 billion to explore seven so-called Trojan asteroids that are located in Jupiter’s orbit around the sun.
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