About the Instrument
L’LORRI — the Lucy Long Range Reconnaissance Imager — is a high-resolution telescopic camera set to fly on NASA’s Lucy spacecraft. It is a critical instrument in Lucy’s mission to perform the first reconnaissance of the Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter. Planetary scientists want to characterize these asteroids to better understand their spectral diversity and what that implies about the origin and evolution of our solar system.
L’LORRI consists of an 8.2-inch (20.8-centimeter) aperture telescope that focuses visible light onto a charge-coupled device. It’s the next-generation version of the LORRI instrument currently flying on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which provided the first detailed, close-up views of Pluto and its moons in July 2015, and the first reconnaissance of a Kuiper Belt object — Arrokoth — in January 2019. Among other capabilities, L’LORRI will produce Lucy’s highest-resolution surface maps, which will allow scientists to study the geology, craters and surface evolution of the Trojans.