This Sunday, a spaceship called Lucia will be in the sky — just without the diamonds.
NASA’s Lucia spacecraft will capture Earth, traveling within a few hundred miles of the distant Jupiter asteroids.
The spacecraft will pass 220 miles above Earth’s surface on Sunday morning, according to a NASA news release.
And some lucky viewers can spot Lucy from Earth, says NASA.
A space star asteroid will appear over Western Australia around 6:55 AM EST. But after a few minutes the sentence will pass. At 7:26 AM EST, it should be visible in the western United States – if the skies are clear and sky watchers have a decent pair of binoculars.
Coming so close to Earth will require a ship to navigate into a dense area with satellites and debris. NASA is implementing special procedures to prevent Lucy from hitting anything on her journey.
“The Lucy team prepared for two different maneuvers,” said Coralie Adam, the chief of the Lucy team for deputy navigation from KinetX Aerospace, in a release. “If the team detects that Lucia is in danger of colliding with satellites or pieces of debris, then – 12 hours before the closest approach to Earth – it will make one of these spacecrafts, changing the closest time to two or four seconds.
“This is a small correction, but it is enough to avoid potentially catastrophic collisions.”
Lucia’s 12-year mission in October 2021. The purpose of the mission is to explore the probes of the Trojan asteroid, which orbits Jupiter. Asteroids have never been observed before; The image above shows an example of Lucia approaching an asteroid. But if all goes according to plan, Lucia will provide the first high-resolution images of asteroids.
It will send the spacecraft around the Earth a total of three times during its mission. Coming into Earth’s orbit helps to boost Lucy to continue her journey.
“The last time we saw it in space, it was included in the payload stored in Florida,” said Hal Levison, principal investigator of Lucy at the Southwest Research Institute’s Boulder, Colorado office, referring to the protective nose cone used in the launches. “It’s exciting that we’ll be able to stand here in Colorado and see the ship again.
“And this time Lucia will be in heaven.”
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