NASA’s Lucy mission begins, passing through eight different asteroids during a 12-year journey

Almost $ 1 billion NASA A spacecraft named Lucy was officially launched on Saturday morning. This is the beginning of a 12-year journey to explore eight different asteroids.

According to NASA scientists at the Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, the spacecraft will be the first to visit the so-called Troy Jupiter asteroid orbiting Jupiter, a “time capsule from the birth of the solar system.” Maryland..

NASA states that the Lucy Space Mission will revolutionize knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system, providing insights into planetary evolution.

Lucy went into orbit with the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base on Saturday at 5:34 am. Florida..

The $ 981 million mission spacecraft also has plaques, including quotes from Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, The Beatles, and more.

Lucy in the photo was launched into orbit on Saturday at 5:34 am on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The $ 981 million mission spacecraft also has plaques, including quotes from Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, The Beatles, and more.

Lucy is the first to visit the so-called Troy Jupiter asteroid orbiting Jupiter and is a time capsule from the birth of the solar system.

Coincidentally, the mission is named after the fossilized human ancestor named “Lucy” by her discovery and the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” mentioned above. It was named.

In a NASA recorded video, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr paid tribute to his late bandmate John Lennon, who wrote a song that influenced the name of the ship.

“I’m very excited — Lucy is back in the sky with a diamond. Johnny should love it,” Star said.

“Anyway, Lucy, if you meet someone over there, give them peace and love from me.”

On Thursday, Lucy, along with the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, was deployed from the Vertical Integration Building to the launch pad of Space Ranch Complex 41.

To make it work, NASA had to convert the booster, remove the two solid rocket motors, and replace the features designed to work with the crew capsule.

“Overall, I think it really worked,” said ULA Chief Operating Officer John Elle-Bon.

Thanks to the NASA team, Lucy was able to launch on Saturday morning as scheduled.

Having been launched, Lucy will fly twice on Earth to adjust its orbit and reach the outside of the solar system.

The first asteroid visit will be in April 2025, examining the main belt asteroid called Donald Johanson, named after the paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson behind Lucy’s fossil discovery.

According to NASA, Lucy’s mission will revolutionize knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system and provide insights into planetary evolution.

On Thursday, Lucy, along with the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, was deployed from the Vertical Integration Building to the launch pad of Space Ranch Complex 41.

The Lucy spacecraft has solar panels on both sides to help power its equipment, and is 51.8 feet wide and more than 46 feet from tip to tip.

Eight asteroids visited by Lucy

During a 12-year mission, Lucy will visit eight asteroids, starting with one in the major asteroid belt beyond Mars.

This is known as Donald Johanson and will be visited in April 2025.

The seven Trojan asteroids are named after characters in Greek mythology.

They are Eurybates, Keta, Polymere, Leukas, Ors, Patroclus, Menoetius.

Most of the mission visits will take place in 2027 and 2028. The final planned flyby will take place in March 2033.

Johansson said he got goosebumps when he saw Lucy fly — “I never see Jupiter the same … absolutely open-minded.” He said, “Our He said he was full of wonders about “the intersection of the past, the present, and the future.”

“It’s incredibly exciting that human ancestors who lived long ago stimulated a mission that promised to add valuable information about the formation of the solar system,” said Johanson of Arizona State University. rice field.NS AOL..

Meanwhile, the first Trojan asteroid flyby will not occur for another two years when Lucy approaches Jupiter in August 2027.

Most asteroid visits will take place in 2027 and 2028, with the final asteroid flyby scheduled for March 2033.

Lucy’s path not only sees some of the oldest rocks in the solar system, but also traverses the Earth three times to use the Earth’s gravity to assist in its positioning.

This move will be the first spacecraft to return to Earth from the outer solar system, either because everything else is still going on (in the case of the Viking probe) or because it has burned out in the atmosphere of the gas giant Cassini and Saturn. ..

Lucy’s mission probe is 51.8 feet wide and 46 feet from top to bottom and is equipped with solar panels on both sides to help power the equipment.

These instruments include color visible imagers, thermal emission spectrometers, and infrared imaging spectrometers.

Currently, there are more than 4,800 known Trojan asteroids, 65% of which belong to the L4 group and the remaining 35% to the L5 group.

Troy’s Jupiter asteroid is known as the “fossil” of the early solar system because it is composed of ancient material that existed when the planet was formed.

Troy’s Jupiter asteroid orbits the Sun in two giant bands known as L5, in front of and behind Jupiter (L4).

NASA’s Lucy mission to Jupiter’s asteroid orbiting Troy brings plaques that act as “time capsules,” including citations from Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, The Beatles, and more.

The thermal emission spectrometer, known as L’TES, measures the surface temperature of Troy’s Jupiter asteroid by observing the thermal infrared spectrum and helps to understand the physical properties of the surface material.

The Lucy Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (L’LORRI) is a high resolution visible camera that provides the most detailed images of the surface of an asteroid.

Then there is the final L’Ralph of the three devices. This reveals absorption lines that act as fingerprints of various silicates, ice, and organic matter that may be on the surface of the trojan Jupiter’s asteroid.

L’Ralph also has a visible image camera that takes color pictures of the asteroid to help scientists determine what the asteroid is made of.

“This team has put a lot of effort into building a spaceship that is truly a work of art,” said Lucy’s project manager, Donya Douglas Bloodshaw. Released. ‘

What does Lucy study?

Launched in October 2021, Lucy will complete a 12-year journey to eight different asteroids under the influence of Earth’s gravity.

This includes a mainbelt asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, and seven Trojans trapped in a gravity lock between Jupiter and the Sun.

Four of them are members of the “2 to 1 price” binary system.

Lucy’s complex path reaches both clusters of Trojan horses orbiting the giant gas at points L4 and L5.

They provide us with the first close-up view of all three major types of bodies in the herd known as the C, P, and D types of asteroids.

The dark red P and D Trojans are similar to those found in the ice-body Kuiper belt that extends beyond Neptune’s orbit.

The C type is mainly found in the outer part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

All Trojans are believed to be rich in dark carbon compounds.

Under dust-insulated blankets, they are probably rich in water and other volatiles, dating back to the first days of the solar system.

In history, no other space mission has been launched into many different destinations in independent orbits around the Sun. For the first time, Lucy shows us the diversity of the protocells that built the planet.

NASA’s Lucy mission begins, passing through eight different asteroids during a 12-year journey

Source link NASA’s Lucy mission begins, passing through eight different asteroids during a 12-year journey

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