Timeline

The Lucy mission is divided up into 5 phases: The mission is currently in Phase B

Phase E: Operations and Sustainment

All of the work designing, building and launching the mission comes to fruition in Phase E. During this phase the engineers, scientists, and other professionals on the Lucy team work together to see that the mission is successfully carried out. As a part of the operations plan, Lucy will fly by the Earth twice for gravity assists and then head out on its journey past one main belt asteroid finally to the two Trojan swarms to visit 6 Trojan asteroids (two of which are a near equal mass binary). The full tour will take almost 12 years.

During each flyby Lucy will be a buzz with activity. The closest approaches during each flyby will only last a matter of hours and during that time all of the instruments must carry out a carefully orchestrated dance to collect as much information as possible about the target. After this high resolution data has been collected it will then take take months for all of the data to be transmitted back to Earth. Between the flybys Lucy will also observe other objects from a distance, giving us a new perspective on many additional Solar System bodies.

After this 12 year main mission (and any possible extended missions) it will finally be time to say goodbye to Lucy during the final Phase F.