Lucy Spacecraft Will Slingshot Around Earth

  • Released Thursday, October 13, 2022
  • Updated Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 5:38PM
  • ID: 14225

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will make an exceptionally close flyby of Earth on Oct. 16, 2022.

Complete transcript available.

Universal Production Music: “Determined Arrival 5” by Joel Goodman; “Finding Solace” by Eric Chevalier; “Subtle Confidence 3” by Joel Goodman

Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.

NASA’s Lucy mission is heading to the Jupiter Trojans – two swarms of primitive asteroids trapped in Jupiter’s orbit that may hold clues to the formation of the planets. Lucy launched on October 16, 2021. After a year in orbit around the Sun, it is returning home on its launch anniversary for the first of three Earth gravity assists. On October 16, 2022, Lucy will fly by the Earth like a partner in a swing dance, boosting its speed and elongating its orbit around the Sun.

At 7:04 am, Eastern Time, Lucy will make its closest approach at just 219 miles above the planet: lower than the International Space Station. This exceptionally close shave will increase its velocity by 4.5 miles per second, setting Lucy on track to gain even more speed when it returns to Earth for its second gravity assist in December 2024.

Learn more about Lucy's first Earth gravity assist.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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