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NASA’s Lucy spacecraft has almost completely deployed its stuck array

One of the NASA's Lucy spacecraft's two huge solar arrays had trouble latching into position after launch while it was travelling away from Earth and toward the Trojan asteroids

 After several months of working on the issue, NASA now claims "substantial progress" in the deployment of the solar array.

Shortly after Lucy's October 2013 introduction, the issue was identified. Two sizable circular solar arrays on the spaceship collect solar energy and use it to fuel its systems

The arrays were folded up for launch, but once the craft was in space, they needed to be deployed, for which they folded out like a clock

Image Credit:otosection

One of the arrays deployed without incident and according to design. However, the other array barely partially deployed and failed to lock into position

Although the partially deployed array was providing the spacecraft with ample power

there was fear that when the spacecraft fired its thrusters to conduct manoeuvres, this would put stress on the array and potentially cause it to malfunction.

Image Credit:wikipedia

By tightening the lanyard that deployed the array, NASA declared in April of this year that it had a plan to address this problem. 

It was decided to run both motors simultaneously in order to generate more torque and tug more firmly on the lanyard, hopefully bringing the array closer to the desired location

This lanyard is controlled by two motors, one primary and one backup. Through several cycles throughout May and June, the array was gradually pulled into position, however it did not latch.

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