Last week marked two important milestones for the Lucy Mission.
First, and most importantly, Lucy passed its Mission Critical Design Review (CDR)! By passing this major mission milestone, Lucy has demonstrated that the design of the mission is fully mature and the team ready to move on to full scale fabrication.
During a four day long review at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, CO, an independent review board of experts from NASA and several external organizations heard reports covering all aspects of the Lucy mission. Over the last year every system and subsystem, from the spacecraft and instrument payload to flight hardware and software, systems engineering, mission assurance, ground system and science, have undergone their own reviews. So in this review team members presented every aspect of the mission and demonstrated how everything will work together to achieve the mission objects, all within cost and schedule constraints. The focus now shifts to the exciting task building of the spacecraft and instruments.
The second milestone, is that Lucy is now less than two years away from launch! Or, more precisely, we are now two years away from the start of the launch window. Before dawn on October 16, 2021, Lucy will have its first opportunity to launch.
So while Lucy has completed its design phase, there is still a lot to do before launch! In less than a year, the instrument teams at Goddard Space Flight Center, the Applied Physics Laboratory, and Arizona State University will deliver the instruments to Lockheed Martin so that they can be placed on the spacecraft. The spacecraft team will then have roughly 10 months to assemble the spacecraft and test it. After that, the spacecraft will be on its way to Kennedy Space Center in preparation for launch.