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NASA sends spacecraft Lucy to study Jupiter asteroids




National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) deploys spacecraft Lucy to investigate Jupiter's Trojan asteroids to aid the solar system's formation research.


The 12-year exploration of Lucy started in care of the Atlas V rocket that took off at NASA's rocket launch facility in Cape Canaveral.


In 2025, the probe will reach Donaljohanson, an asteroid in the Main belt between Mars and Jupiter. From 2027 to 2033, it is expected to contact seven Trojan asteroids: five along with Jupiter and two along with the gas giant.


Lucy has a thermal emission spectrometer that identifies infrared radiation that will help to locate asteroid surface temperatures. These temperatures in different times can trace the physical properties of the objects and how much dust, sand, or rock is present.


It is also equipped with instruments and antennas to analyze its target objects' composition, mass, density, volume, and other geological parameters.


Moreover, NASA's Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said that the target asteroids of the spacecraft are expected to provide a story about the solar system and the people. Scientists claim that the asteroids contain information about the planets in the protoplanetary disk, including Earth.


Lucy is the first spacecraft to be operated using solar power and the first probe to approach the Earth's vicinity outside the solar system.


The probe is named after an ancient fossil, Lucy, discovered in 1974 and helped trace human evolution.


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