On November 1, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will visit its first asteroid, Dinkinesh. Their meeting will be a critical, ultra-brief encounter between two of the loneliest drifters in the Solar System.
Lucy has already been flying through space for two years. The mission, designed to take a grand tour of the Trojan asteroids near Jupiter, will perform ultra-fast flybys to accomplish its epic survey of nine rocks strewn across space. Although it’s a 12-year mission, Lucy’s principal investigator Hal Levison tells Inverse that all the important science it will take adds up to just 24 hours.