NASA’s Asteroid Spacecraft Lucy Ready To Launch This Week For 12-Year Mission


NASA’s upcoming mission to discover asteroids as a way to study in regards to the earliest period of our photo voltaic system is able to launch. The spacecraft named Lucy is predicted to take off this week on a mission that’s estimated to take 12 years. The spacecraft is taking a look at a potential launch date of October 16 and will probably be travelling to the outer photo voltaic system throughout the course of the 12-year venture window. Once within the outer photo voltaic system, Lucy will probably be exploring over seven historic asteroids, often called the Trojan asteroids that circle the Sun.

The Trojan asteroids orbit in the identical path as Jupiter, the planet. By exploring them, Lucy may even be the primary spacecraft to go to asteroids on this area. The spacecraft will help in procuring knowledge to assist scientists delve deep into the photo voltaic system’s historic historical past, which in flip may assist decipher extra particulars on how the universe got here to be.

NASA has described Trojan asteroids because the “time capsules from the birth of our solar system”. According to the area company, Trojan asteroids “circle the Sun in two swarms, with one group leading ahead of Jupiter in its path, the other trailing behind it.” They have been named after characters in Greek mythology.

Speaking in regards to the venture, NASA scientist Tom Statler stated in a statement, “With Lucy, we’re going to eight never-before-seen asteroids in 12 years with a single spacecraft. This is a fantastic opportunity for discovery as we probe into our solar system’s distant past.”

The mission itself takes its title from the fossilised human ancestor whose skeleton supplied distinctive perception into humanity’s evolution. The skeleton was dubbed “Lucy” by her discoverers. Drawing a parallel, NASA believes that Lucy’s mission will “revolutionise our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system.”

During the course of the 12 years, Lucy will discover a “record-breaking number of asteroids,” NASA says. “The spacecraft will fly by one asteroid in the solar system’s main belt and seven Trojan asteroids. Lucy’s path will circle back to Earth three times for gravity assists, which will make it the first spacecraft ever to return to our planet’s vicinity from the outer solar system.”

You will also be part of the historic launch by watching it on-line through NASA TV. The liftoff has been at the moment scheduled for October 16 at 2:34am PT (3:04pm IST).