NASA has completed the requirements needed to move forward with the production and testing of a mission to study the Trojan asteroids near Jupiter. The space agency said Friday its Lucy mission, under the Discovery Program, has reached the Key Decision Point-D milestone and may now move forward to components delivery, assembly, integration and testing activities.
Lucy's spacecraft bus will undergo completion and integration with science instruments under the next phase before delivery to NASA's Florida-based Kennedy Space Center.
"We now have a spacecraft structure in the Lockheed Martin high bay and a team ready to install the instruments and components," said Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, project manager for Lucy at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
A team at Lockheed Martin's Colorado-based space unit already commenced work on Lucy's assembly, testing and launch operations. Lucy will undergo a mission operation review in October 2020, for NASA to verify the spacecraft's operational readiness.
NASA expects to conclude testing by July 2021, with the launch scheduled for October 16, 2021.