The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has officially announced that it has successfully deployed the solar panels of the Lucy Mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.
The information was shared via the Twitter page of Lucy Mission, capturing:
“Lucy’s solar arrays have successful deployed! Go lucky!”
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The newest asteroid probe, the Lucy Mission, is a 12 years mission that will go to eight different asteroids, including a main-belt asteroid and eight Jupiter trojans, asteroids that circle the Sun either ahead of or behind Jupiter.
Lucy blasted off at about 5:34 a.m. EDT today, October 16, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States of America. Lucy will fly by one main-belt asteroid and seven Trojans to examine a record-breaking number of asteroids. No other space mission in history has gone to as many different places in different orbits around the Sun.
Lucy, named after a fossilized human ancestor whose skeleton afforded rare insight into human evolution, is more than 14m in length from tip to tip, the majority of which is made up of massive solar panels that give power to the spaceship.
The Lucy fossil, discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, was named after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which was played frequently at the excavation team’s camp.
According to Lucy’s principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute, Hal Levison, who explained why the Trojans are important, said: “The reason why the Trojans are important scientifically is that they were essentially leftovers.”
The Trojans are gravitationally trapped in stable orbits at the same distance from the sun as Jupiter and are thought to be relics of the early solar system. Lucy will investigate the geology, content, density, and structure of each of its Trojan targets using a variety of scientific instruments.
NASA is part of the United States government in charge of U.S. science and technology that has to do with airplanes or space, founded on October 1, 1958.