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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Lucy Probe Launched

Lucy mission trajectory from multiple angles
NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

The $1 billion Lucy probe was launched yesterday. It is on a 12 year mission to visit a bunch of asteroids. It might learn something, but for me the most interesting part is the trajectory and the navigation. In the above video, looking at the right hand side of the screen, the green dot orbiting close to the sun is the Earth, while the brown dot sitting at the bottom of the screen is Jupiter, so we are watching the probe's travels from the frame of Jupiter. 

I counted 11 and a half orbits of Earth. Jupiter's orbital period is 12 years, so this whole frame should have rotated once, which would have added one more orbit to Earth's count.

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