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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Lucy’s probe has taken off. NASA mission will study Trojan asteroids

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NASA launched an Atlas V rocket, bringing Lucy into orbit. The mission will be the first to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. According to scientists, these are the remains of material involved in the formation of the outer planets of the solar system.

NASA’s Lucy space probe took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Saturday at 6.34 local time (11.34 in Poland). It was launched into orbit by an Atlas V rocket.

Lucy’s mission is a 12-year expedition to investigate a record number of asteroids. Lucy will be the first probe to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, also known as Trojans.

The Trojans are thousands of asteroids, named after the warriors of Greek mythology, orbiting the Sun in the orbit of Jupiter in two swarms on either side of the planet. According to researchers, the largest ones measure up to 225 kilometers in diameter.

The Atlas V rocket carried the Lucy spacecraft PAP / EPA / Bill Ingalls / NASA

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The V rocket carried the Lucy probePAP / EPA / Bill Ingalls / NASA

Lucy’s mission

Scientists hope that the Lucy probe will provide information that will deepen our understanding of how the outer planets of the solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) formed around 4.5 billion years ago and what made them look like this and not now otherwise.

Researchers say these asteroids are rich in carbon compounds. According to the US space agency, they can provide clues about the origin of organic materials and life on Earth.

Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral, FloridaPAP / EPA / Bill Ingalls / NASA

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Bill Ingalls / NASA



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