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NASA’s Lucy deploys its massive solar panels

Lucy inside the thermal vacuum chamber at Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Lockheed Martin

Paris, 7 April 2021. – The NASA spacecraft Lucy which will travel beyond the orbit of Jupiter one day has successfully deployed its enormous solar panels, NASA said.

Lucy has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing of its solar panels, manufactured by Northrop Grumman. Once the solar panels are attached and fully extended, they could cover a five-story building, NASA said.

Lucy requires large solar panels as it will operate farther from the Sun than any previous solar-powered space mission.

Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program. During its 12-year tour of the Trojan asteroids, Lucy is planned to operate “a record-breaking” 853 million kilometers from the Sun, beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

The Lucy spacecraft will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida this summer to ready it for launch in October.

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