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Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan asteroids 5nvklj





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Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan asteroids

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:06 am

NASA's Lucy mission, led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has achieved an important milestone by passing its System Integration Review and clearing the way for spacecraft assembly.

This NASA Discovery Program class mission will be the first to explore Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter and hold important insights to understanding the early solar system.


The Lucy spacecraft, during its nominal 12-year mission, will fly by and collect data from seven of these primitive worlds, plus a main belt asteroid. Because the Trojan asteroids are remnants of the primordial material that formed the outer planets, they hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system.

Lucy, like the human fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins.

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Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan asteroids 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:08 am

Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan asteroids 2-swriledlucym
Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin

Artist's concept shows the Lucy spacecraft observing a Trojan asteroid. This NASA mission, led by Southwest Research Institute, passed a major milestone in preparation for the spacecraft launch in 2021.

Source / Image Courtesy


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Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan asteroids 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:09 am



Launching in late 2021, Lucy will be the first space mission to explore the Trojan asteroids. These are a population of small bodies that are left over from the formation of the solar system. They lead or follow Jupiter in their orbit around the Sun, and may tell us about the origins of organic materials on Earth.

Lucy will fly by and carry out remote sensing on six different Trojan asteroids and will study surface geology, surface color and composition, asteroid interiors/bulk properties, and will look at the satellites and rings of the Trojans.


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Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan asteroids 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:11 am



Trojan asteroids are common at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points of other planets, leading or following the planet in its orbit. But detecting our own Trojan asteroids from Earth is difficult since they appear close to the sun from our perspective.

In mid-February 2017, NASA's OSIRS-REx mission will search for these elusive objects when the spacecraft passes by Earth's L4 Lagrange point, en route to asteroid Bennu in 2018.


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Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan asteroids 334pu7m

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