Lucy Mission : NASA
NASA recently announced that it is adding a new target for the Lucy mission as the spacecraft goes on its more than 6-billion-kilometre-long journey to study the Jupiter trojan asteroids..
- NASA’s Lucy mission is the first spacecraft launched to explore the Trojan asteroids, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter.
- Lucy was successfully launched Oct. 16, 2021, and will visit eight asteroids over 12 years one asteroid in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and seven Trojan asteroids leading and trailing Jupiter in its orbit.
- Asteroids sharing an orbit with a planet, but which are located at the leading (L4) and trailing (L5) Lagrangian points, are known as Trojan asteroids.
- These asteroids occupy a stable Lagrangian point in a planet’s orbit around the Sun.
- Trojan Asteroids are some of the oldest remnants from the formation of our solar system 5 billion years ago.
- There are currently over 4,800 known Trojan asteroids associated with Jupiter.