NASA launched a spacecraft titled Lucy on a 12 years journey to explore the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. The spacecraft is taken off from Cape Canaveral on Saturday. The mission’s main objective is to seek out clues about the formation of the solar system.
Lucy is named after a 32-year-old ancient fossil of a pre-human ancestor which was found in Ethiopia. This discovery got its name after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. The spacecraft will also transfer a disc made of lab-grown diamonds for its scientific mechanism. Lucy will also become the first-ever solar-powered mission to project from the Sun and will detect more asteroids than any other probe.
The spacecraft will strike past Earth next October and again in 2024 to acquire sufficient gravitational energy to mark it all the way to Jupiter’s orbit. The spacecraft will then come back towards Earth for gravity assistance in 2030 and that will propel Lucy back to the trailing of the Trojan cluster, where it will punch past the final two targets in 2033.
The largest asteroid is 60 miles in diameter. Lucy spacecraft will fly by its target objects within 400 kilometers of their surfaces and will use its onboard instruments and antenna to investigate their density, mass, composition, and volume. The spacecraft will also use its Thermal emission Spectrometer, which will find out far-infrared radiation, to calculate the surface temperature of the asteroids.