NASA launched an Atlas V rocket, sending Lucy into orbit. The mission will be the first to explore Trojan asteroids on Jupiter. According to scientists, these are the remains of materials 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 Trojan asteroids on Jupiter, also known as Trojans.
Trojans are thousands of asteroids, named after the warriors of Greek mythology, orbiting the sun in the orbit of Jupiter in two flocks on either side of the planet. According to researchers, the largest of them has a diameter of 225 kilometers.
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 about 4.5 billion years ago and what made them look like that and not so now.
Researchers say these asteroids are rich in carbon compounds. According to the US space agency, they can provide clues about the origin of organic matter and life on Earth.
Main image source: PAP / EPA / Bill Ingalls / NASA
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