On Oct. 13, 2022, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft captured this image of the Earth and the Moon from 890,000 miles (1.4 million km) away. The image was taken as part of an instrument calibration sequence as the spacecraft approached Earth for its first of three Earth gravity assists. These Earth flybys provide Lucy with the speed required to reach the Trojan asteroids — small bodies that orbit the Sun at the same distance as Jupiter. On its 12-year journey, Lucy will fly by a record-breaking number of asteroids and survey their diversity, looking for clues to better understand the formation of the solar system.
The image was taken with Lucy’s Terminal Tracking Camera (T2CAM) system, a pair of identical cameras that are responsible for tracking the asteroids during Lucy’s high-speed encounters. The T2CAM system was designed, built, and tested by Malin Space Science Systems; Lockheed Martin Integrated the T2CAMs onto the Lucy spacecraft and operates them.
Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI