L’TES

  • Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer
  • MISSION: Lucy
  • Launch: October 2021
  • Arrival: April 2025
  • Currently: In development

What is it?

The Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer, or L’TES for short, is an instrument on board NASA’s Lucy spacecraft. With a design heritage from several successful previous spectrometers, L’TES is a robust and proven instrument for operations on the mission.

What does it do?

The Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer (L’TES) will provide temperature measurements of each Jupiter Trojan asteroid the spacecraft encounters. In addition, L’TES will collect spectral information using thermal infrared observations from 4 to 50 micrometers’ wavelength.

Why is it significant?

The Jupiter Trojan asteroids are thought to be remnants of the primordial material that formed the outer planets, and they serve as time capsules from the birth of our solar system more than 4 billion years ago.

Science Objectives

  • What were the initial stages, conditions, and processes of solar system formation?
  • How did the giant planets form, and is there evidence that they migrated to new orbital positions?
  • What governed their formation, and what roles did bombardment by large projectiles play?
  • What were the sources of primordial organic matter?

Lucy will be the first space mission to study the Trojan asteroids. The mission takes its name from the fossilized human ancestor (called “Lucy” by her discoverers) whose skeleton provided unique insight into humanity’s evolution. Likewise, the Lucy mission will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system. Lucy will launch in October 2021 and, with boosts from Earth’s gravity, will complete a 12-year journey to seven different asteroids — a Main Belt asteroid and six Trojans. Lucy’s complex path will take it to both clusters of Trojans (one orbiting ahead of Jupiter, the other behind) and give us our first close-up view of all three major types of bodies in these clusters.

Meet the Group

Principal Investigator

  • Philip Christensen
  • Arizona State University

Engineering Team

  • Saadat Anwar, Software Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Courtnie Besich, Administrative Support
  • Arizona State University
  • Heather Bowles, Configuration/Quality
  • Arizona State University
  • Stillman Chase, Consultant
  • Arizona State University
  • Ryan Fagan, Student Worker
  • Arizona State University
  • Zoltan Farkas, Mechanical Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Tara Fisher, Project Administrator
  • Arizona State University
  • Andrew Holmes, Mechanical Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Russell Hudyma, Consultant
  • Arizona State University
  • Ian Kubik, Mechanical Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Edgar Madrill, Senior Optical Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Greg Mehall, Project Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Mark Miner, Thermal Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Bill O'Donnell, Opto/Mechanical Technician
  • Arizona State University
  • Carlos Ortiz, Thermal Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Mehul Patel, Project Manager
  • Arizona State University
  • Dan Pelham, Lead Opto/Mechanical Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Nick Piacentine, IT Manager
  • Arizona State University
  • Ken Shamordola, Consultant
  • Arizona State University
  • MarKetta Roemke, Administrative Assistant
  • Arizona State University
  • Tom Tourville, Opto/Mechanical Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Tom Wolverton, Mech/Structural Engineer
  • Arizona State University
  • Rob Woodward, Manufacturing Engineer
  • Arizona State University

Graduate Students

  • Jon Hill
  • Arizona State University
  • Alexandra Huff
  • Arizona State University
  • Aditya Khuller
  • Arizona State University
  • Sean Peters
  • Arizona State University
  • Sarah Rogers
  • Arizona State University
  • Jayanth Serla
  • Arizona State University

Subcontractor

  • Brian Giesinger, Avionics Engineer
  • AZ Space Technologies
  • Dawn Gregory, Quality Manager
  • AZ Space Technologies
  • Val Ivanitski, Project Manager
  • AZ Space Technologies
  • Igor Lazbin, GNC and Software Engineer
  • AZ Space Technologies
  • Jennifer Lazbin, Electrical & FPGA Engineer
  • AZ Space Technologies
  • Gregor Mathis, Test Engineer
  • AZ Space Technologies
  • Andrew McLaine, Avionics Engineer
  • AZ Space Technologies
  • Bob Roebuck, Electrical Technician
  • AZ Space Technologies