NASA's Lucy Mission Blasts Off to Examine Trojan Asteroids
09:00 GMT 16.10.2021 (Updated: 09:07 GMT 16.10.2021)
© East News / APThe NASA Orion space capsule is seen atop a Delta IV rocket ready for a test launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014
© East News / AP
According to NASA's plans, the probe's meeting with Trojan asteroids in the main mission is scheduled for March 2033.
NASA's Lucy spacecraft is set to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida for a 12-year first-of-its-kind mission aiming to explore the earliest days of our solar system.
Lucy, named after the Australopithecus Lucy (a skeleton of a female Australopithecus found in Ethiopia), will be the first ever mission to Trojan asteroids. As NASA spokesman Thomas Zurbuchen said on the eve of the launch, the probe's mission, which costs $ 981 billion, will allow scientists to see cosmic bodies that will shed light on the history of the origin of our planet and the entire solar system.
Trojans are asteroids that are located in the vicinity of a planet's L4 and L5 Lagrange points. At these points, the gravity of the planet and its stare are balanced, and cosmic bodies can remain in them indefinitely. Jupiter has the largest number of Trojan satellites - over 6,000.
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