NASA’s Lucy mission to unravel the origin of the solar system is launched today for a 12-year journey

Washington: The Lucy probe – the very first NASA mission to explore distant asteroids and find the origin of our solar system – was successfully lifted off Saturday from the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida, United States. Launched atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at around 3 p.m. PT, Lucy will return to Earth three times for gravitational aids, making her the first spacecraft to return near the Earth from the outer solar system.Read also – NASA to launch first “Lucy” mission to distant asteroids on October 16 | Details inside

During her 12-year main mission, Lucy will explore a record number of asteroids, including a flyby of one asteroid in the Solar System’s Main Belt and seven Trojan asteroids near Jupiter. As the mission’s namesake – the fossilized human ancestor, ‘Lucy’ whose skeleton provided unique insight into the evolution of mankind – Lucy will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system “NASA said in a statement. Also Read – Video: NASA Shares Fascinating Video Of Saturn And Its Moon Parade Captured By The Hubble Telescope. LOOK Also Read – NASA’s “Ingenuity” Mini-Helicopter Captures Rock Feature of Mars in 3D View

Lucy will explore Trojan asteroids with a suite of remote sensing instruments. In addition, navigation cameras will be used to determine the shapes of the Trojan asteroids. Lucy will be the first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. “No other space mission in history has been launched to so many different destinations in independent orbits around our sun. Lucy will show us, for the first time, the diversity of the primordial bodies that built the planets, ”according to NASA.

What are Trojan asteroids?

  • These tiny bodies are remnants of our early solar system, now trapped in stable orbits associated with the giant planet Jupiter, but not nearby.
  • The Trojan asteroids form two “swarms” that lead and follow Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun and are almost as numerous as the objects in the main asteroid belt.
  • These primitive bodies hold essential clues to decipher the history of the solar system.
  • It is believed that all Trojans are abundant in dark carbon compounds.
  • Under an insulating blanket of dust, they are probably rich in water and other volatile substances.

(Based on IANS entries)

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