Boulder’s Southwest Research Institute has announced its Lucy mission is one step closer to a planned 2021 launch to explore the Trojan asteroids, a population of ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter.
With the successful completion of its critical design review last week, the Lucy spacecraft is primed to begin a 12-year journey of almost 4 billion miles to visit a record-breaking seven asteroids — one main belt asteroid and six Trojans — according to a news release.
The design review was seen by SwRI as a major mission milestone. An independent board representing members from NASA and several external organizations evaluated all aspects of the Lucy mission, ranging from the spacecraft and instrument payload to flight hardware and software, systems engineering, mission assurance, ground systems and overall science mission, the release stated.
According to SwRi, this marks the end of Lucy’s design phase and a shift to building the spacecraft and instruments that will explore the diverse Trojan asteroids.