Since NASA’s Lucy spacecraft and the United States took the first images of the Dinkenish asteroid on September 3. The Lucy spacecraft has now traveled more than 54 million kilometers. It is about 7.6 million kilometers away from this small asteroid, however, as Dinkenish continues to orbit the sun, the spacecraft still has approximately 25 million kilometers to travel to meet the asteroid again on November 1.
Over the past month, the Lucy crew saw the target asteroid light up as the spacecraft approached. They also saw slight changes in brightness that correspond to the asteroid’s rotation period. The team used images collected by Lucy’s L’LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) camera, which captures high-resolution images in the visible wavelength. To improve knowledge about the relative positions of spacecraft and asteroids with these objects, he piloted the ship toward a head-on encounter with the Dinkenish asteroid in order to take pictures and send those pictures back to Earth.
The Lucy spacecraft is the thirteenth mission in NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s Exploration Program.
Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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