The Lucy’s bowl who – which NASA Plans to send into space next Saturday to study for the first time in Trojan asteroids The US space agency said its association with Jupiter is a “unique opportunity to better understand the formation of planets and the evolution of the solar system.”
Named after the famous fossilized human skeleton Lucy, which was in turn inspired by the Beatles’ song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” the mission will take off within a week from the Kennedy Space Center in downtown Florida.
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Just as the fossil of Lucy, found in Africa in 1974, provided information about the evolution of humanity, “the Lucy mission could revolutionize our understanding of the origins of the planets and the formation of the solar system,” NASA asserted.
The two existing Trojan asteroid groups “have seen first-hand the history of the outer solar system,” said Sherry Jennings, the mission’s director.
The scientist determined that Lucy is equipped with L’TES, L’Ralph and L’LORRI instruments, which will collect data from the surfaces of Troy to help “uncover the secrets of the formation of planets and solar systems.”
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The first is a thermal emission spectrometer that will help to better understand the physical properties of regoliths, which are rock fragments, mineral grains and other surface deposits found on unaltered hard rocks.
L’Ralph is a combination of a multispectral visible camera and an infrared imaging spectrometer to search for ice and organic matter and determine the mineral composition of asteroids.
Meanwhile, L’LORRI will provide detailed images of the surface of the Trojans that will help understand the geological features and the number of craters, which will help determine the age of these asteroids.
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Long journey with time capsule
Lucy, which will be the first mission to study Trojan asteroids associated with, but not close to, Jupiter, will be propelled by an Atlas 5 rocket from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) from Cabo Space Force Station, Canaveral, Florida.
During her 12-year journey, Lucy will visit eight record-breaking asteroids: a major belt asteroid and seven Trojans believed to be the remnants of the outer planet’s formation.
The spaceship will also carry a time capsule with inspiring messages from award-winning thinkers and poets, including members of the Beatles.
Trojan asteroids are small remnants of the early Solar System confined to stable orbits, grouped into two “swarms” that guide and follow Jupiter on its way around the Sun, NASA reports.
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This is the first mission to the Trojan asteroids, where Lucy will examine this mysterious group of small bodies orbiting the sun behind the main asteroid belt, trapped by Jupiter and the sun.
After Lucy finishes visiting a record number of asteroids in a single mission in 2033, the spacecraft will continue to travel between Trojan asteroids and Earth’s orbit for at least hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years.
One day in the far future, the descendants of Earth will find Lucy floating among the planets.
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