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by Sai Shruti

Read Time: 2 minute

NASA is on its way to script history on the solar system. NASA's 'Lucy' is on its journey to reveal the secrets of the solar system. The spacecraft is on a 12-year mission to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. Lucy will fly by one main-belt asteroid and seven Trojan asteroids over the next 12 years. First time in history, a single spacecraft mission will explore so many different asteroids. During its journey, Lucy will get a close look at the fossils of planetary formation.

History of Lucy
According to NASA, lucy will disclose the history of space. Additionally, it will provide information on the origins of planets and the positions of asteroids. Lucy is named after a 3.2 million-year-old human skeleton. This skeleton revealed the origin of humans. In the study of human sustainable development, a new definition was revealed after the discovery of lucy. Lucy was discovered in 1974.

First spacecraft to return earth’s vicinity
Lucy's first encounter will be with Donaldjohanson, an asteroid in the Main Belt. In 2025, They will encounter in between Mars and Jupiter. After this, lucy will next encounter seven Trojan asteroids between 2027 and 2033, 5 asteroids in the swarm that leads to Jupiter, and 2 in the swarm that follows the gas giant. Lucy will also make three Earth flybys to provide gravity assistance. It will be scripting history by being the first spacecraft returning to earth’s vicinity from the outer solar system.

Special features of Lucy
The Lucy spacecraft is equipped with a Color Visible Camera, a Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, a Thermal Emission Spectrometer, a Terminal Tracking Camera, and a High-Gain Antenna to study various aspects of asteroids. Lockheed Martin Company built this spacecraft. It has a length of 43 feet. Its solar panels have a diameter of 20 feet. The Atlas-V 401 rocket  was launched into space from Cape Canaveral Launch Station.

Mysteries the mission uncovers
“Lucy embodies NASA’s enduring quest to push out into the cosmos for the sake of exploration and science, to better understand the universe and our place within it,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “I can’t wait to see what mysteries the mission uncovers!”


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