A NASA spacecraft will pass only 350 km above Earth’s orbit and can be seen with the naked eye

Lucy of the . spacecraft Container It is the first mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. And this Sunday will take care of the Earth’s atmosphere as it passes 350 km only from the surface of our planet.

Lucy’s way will take her Even less than orbit International Space Station. This means that in addition to flying through an area full of orbiting satellites and space debris, it can be seen with the naked eye from our planet.

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On the first anniversary of its launch, Lucy will be flying close to Earth to get some orbital energy what do you need for Enhance your journey To a region of the solar system that has never been visited before.

Lucy near Trojan asteroids on Jupiter, in a NASA craft. (Image: NASA)

Traffic near the ground carries a big risk: The 350-kilometer area from the surface is littered with “wreckage”, space junk and debris from decommissioned ships. To ensure Lucy’s safety, NASA developed Actions to anticipate any potential danger And if necessary, perform a small maneuver to avoid collision.

“Team Lucy has prepared two different maneuvers,” explained Coralie Adam, deputy team captain for navigation Lucy. “If we detect that Lucy is in danger of colliding with a satellite or a piece of trash, then — 12 hours before the closest approach to Earth — the spacecraft will do one, changing the closest approach by two or four seconds. It’s a small correction, but enough to avoid a catastrophic collision. Possible,” the scientist explained.

A NASA spacecraft will pass only 350 km above Earth's orbit and can be seen with the naked eye

Lucy’s goal

Lucy was released in October 2021. The goal is Explore the swarms of Trojan asteroids orbiting around Jupiterwhich – which They have not been directly observed before.

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A NASA spacecraft will pass only 350 km above Earth's orbit and can be seen with the naked eye

The spacecraft will pass close to Earth three times during its mission. Its entry into Earth’s orbit will give Lucy the boost she needs to continue on her path and will set her on a new path for two years, at which point she will return to Earth for a second gravitational assist, needed to provide the energy that will make him cross the main asteroid belt.

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finally, In 2030, Lucy will return to Earth to receive a third gravitational pull in order to reorient the ship to rendezvous with the more distant Trojan asteroids.

When and Where Can You See Lucy, NASA’s Spacecraft

The spacecraft will be visible from Western Australia on Sunday afternoon and then can be seen in the western United States, provided the skies are clear and appropriate binoculars are available.

Lovell Loxley

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