NASA’s Lucy spacecraft cameras tested

(ORDO NEWS) — On Feb. 14, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, which is in its first months of travel to the Trojan asteroids, acquired a series of calibration images using four visible light cameras.

The first test images were taken in November 2021, shortly after the launch of Lucy on October 16, 2021, but the February test was much larger.

Lucy used her instrument pointing platform to point at 11 different star fields to test the performance and sensitivity of the cameras, as well as the spacecraft’s ability to point accurately in various directions.

The four cameras are the dual tracking cameras (T2CAM), the multi-color visible light camera (MVIC) and the long-range reconnaissance camera (L “LORRI).

T2CAM cameras have a wide field of view, 11 degrees by 8.2 degrees, and are mainly used for automatic fixation and tracking Trojan asteroids during Lucy’s close flybys, providing guidance to other spacecraft instruments on the target.

MVIC, part of the L “Ralph instrument, is a high-resolution color scanning camera that can scan an 8.3 degree field of view to any width, similar to panoramas taken with a mobile phone camera.

L”LORRI is a high-resolution monochromatic television camera with a narrow field of view of 0.29 degrees squared, which will provide the most detailed images of target asteroids”

The tests did not involve the LEISA infrared spectrometer (also part of the L “Ralph instrument) and the L” TES temperature mapping instrument, which require close planetary targets to obtain useful data.

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