NASA’s Lucy spacecraft handed over the Earth’s ambiance this morning on the primary anniversary of its launch.
It was decrease than the International Space Station – simply 220 miles above the Earth’s floor – passing via satellites and particles and utilizing procedures to keep away from any potential collision.
Scientists additionally needed to account for atmospheric drag when designing the flyby.
The satellite tv for pc was first seen to skywatchers in Western Australia earlier than disappearing into the Earth’s shadow.
The 12-year-long mission, which launch on Oct. 16 of final 12 months, is the primary mission to the Jupiter asteroids.
The asteroids are in orbits across the solar and are the identical distance as Jupiter.
NASA said the first gravity assist will place Lucy on a brand new trajectory for a two-year orbit, earlier than it returns for an additional help that offers Lucy the vitality to cross the principle asteroid belt.
Lucy will observe the asteroid Donaldjohanson earlier than touring into the Trojan asteroids.
The spacecraft will go Eurybates, Queta, Polymele, Leucus and Orus.
Lucy’s third gravity help is focused for 2030 which is able to ship it close to the Patroclus-Menoetius binary asteroid pair within the trailing Trojan asteroid swarm.
The company famous that it will use Lucy’s images of the Earth and moon because it flies by to calibrate its devices.