NASA’s Lucy spacecraft It passed over Earth’s atmosphere this morning on the first anniversary of its launch.
Below the International Space Station – just 220 miles above the Earth’s surface – it was passing through satellites and debris and using procedures to avoid a potential collision.
Scientists also had to take into account atmospheric drag when designing flight.
The satellite was first visible to sky watchers in Western Australia before disappearing into the Earth’s shadow.
The 12-year mission, which began on October 16 last year, is the first mission to Jupiter’s asteroids.
Asteroids orbit the sun and are at the same distance as Jupiter.
NASA said that the first aid to gravity It will set Lucy on a new path for two years, before returning for another help that gives Lucy the energy to cross the main asteroid belt.
Lucy will observe the asteroid DonaldJohansson before traveling to the Trojan asteroids.
The spacecraft will pass Eurybates, Queta, Polymele, Leucus and Orus.
Lucy’s third gravitational assist is targeted in 2030 that will send it close to the Patroclus-Minuitius asteroid binary pair in the late Trojan asteroid swarm.
The agency indicated that it will use Lucy’s pictures of the earth and the moon As they fly to calibrate their devices.
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