The goal of the 12-year mission is to better understand the formation of our solar system.
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NASA is ready to launch Lucy next month. The mission, which is set to begin on October 16 and last for 12 years, will for the first time go to observe asteroids in the same orbit as Jupiter. During its journey, the spacecraft will first fly around 2025 over an asteroid in the main asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter), and then over the following years seven Trojan asteroids.
these, “Although they are located in a very limited area of space, they are very different from each other”Explained Tuesday, September 28 During a press conference (in English) Hal Levison, principal investigator for this mission. “For example, they have very different colors, some gray, some red.”
So one theory is that these asteroids formed outside Jupiter’s orbit before they were gravitated there and that these colors reflect their origin. “Whatever Lucy discovers, it will give us key clues about how our solar system formed.”said NASA Planetary Science Division Director Laurie Glaze.
The spacecraft, equipped with massive solar panels, will be the first solar-powered craft to venture far from the sun and spot more asteroids than any before it. It will also allow researchers to study the geology, composition, exact density, mass and size of asteroids. The total cost of the mission is estimated at $891 million.
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