Lucy successfully launched the Lucy mission on the morning of October 16, planning to explore the Donald Johansson asteroid and seven Trojan asteroids around Jupiter.
The mission was launched by the U.S. Space Force’s first satellite spacecraft, the Boeing Starliner-delayed delayed orbital test-2 mission, and the Atlas V rocket, previously used by the United Launch Alliance from Space Launch Complex 41. Of the Cape Canaveral Space Force in Florida. NASA says it is currently traveling at 67,000 miles per hour.
“Named for the fossil skeleton of our oldest hominin ancestor,” NASA said. By studying them, Lucy’s fossil skeletons can revolutionize our understanding of human evolution, revealing previously unknown information about their formation and the evolution of our solar system.
Lucy will be NASA’s first mission to view Trojan asteroids; It is also home to some of the company’s largest operations to date. The same exploration will take some time: NASA said the mission could reach Donald Johnson in 2025, meet the first Trojan asteroids in 2027, and then look at the Trojan asteroid cluster in 2033.
Those encounters will be activated in 2022, 2024 and 2031 by a series of gravitational supports on Earth. The first two supports allow Lucy to reach a swarm of Donald Johansson and leading Trojan asteroids. “And final support will allow the Trojan asteroid to reach the rear 12 years after its launch.
“We started working on Lucy’s mission concept in early 2014, so this launch has been going on for a long time,” Lucy Chief Investigator Hal Lewison said in a statement. “It will take us a few years to get to the first Trojan asteroid, but these objects are worth the wait and all the scientific value because they are like diamonds in the sky.”