NASA to launch Mission Lucy this week

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NASA to launch Mission Lucy this week

  • NASA has confirmed that it is set to launch its latest mission which will look to explore asteroids, to learn more about the early days of our solar system.
  • The Lucy spacecraft is currently scheduled to liftoff on October 16.
  • The spacecraft will travel to the outer solar system during the course of the 12-year mission.

About the mission

  • Lucy will be the first space mission to study the Trojans.
  • The mission takes its name from the fossilized human ancestor (called “Lucy” by her discoverers) whose skeleton provided unique insight into humanity's evolution.
  • Likewise, the Lucy mission will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system.
  • It is estimated that the mission, which will be powered by solar energy, will run for 12 years.
  • During this time, it would visit eight asteroids- a Main Belt asteroid and seven Trojans spread over a distance of a whopping 6.3 billion kilometers.

Main Belt Asteroids:

  • These are asteroids found in the main asteroid region, between Mars and Jupiter.
  • This region is estimated to contain somewhere between 1.1-1.9 million asteroids.


  • Trojans are asteroids that share an orbit with a larger planet.
  • NASA reports the presence of Jupiter, Neptune and Mars trojans.
  • In 2011, they reported an Earth trojan as well."