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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

It Is For This Reason That NASA Is Introducing Lucy, A Robotic Archaeologist

NASA is planning to send a probe toward a collection of asteroids that will pass close to Jupiter’s orbital path on Saturday. The Trojan swarms are a kind of asteroid swarm that represents the last undiscovered areas of asteroids in the solar system, according to NASA. The spacecraft, dubbed Lucy, is a deep-space robotic archaeologist who will attempt to answer urgent concerns regarding the beginnings of the solar system, how the planets moved to their present orbits, and how life could have evolved on the planet Earth.

In the words of NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, “We have never gone this far in the research of asteroids before.” By doing so, we will be able to better comprehend the creation of our solar system as well as better understand ourselves and our evolution,” says Dr. Schroeder.

In 2033, after a six-year journey, Lucy would fly near to seven Trojan asteroids, performing crazy solar laps that, according to some visual representations, resemble the shape of a Formula One racetrack on the surface of the sun.

The spacecraft will investigate the geology, composition, density, and structure of the Trojans, which are tiny planets trapped at stable positions along Jupiter’s orbit of the sun, stuck in their own orbits ahead or behind the giant planet. The mission will be completed in 2024.

Over the course of its history, humanity has investigated many tiny rocky planets across the solar system. The NEAR mission successfully landed on the asteroid Eros in the inner asteroid belt. The Dawn mission orbited Ceres and Vesta, the two biggest planets in the belt between Mars and Jupiter, which were discovered by the spacecraft in 2004. The Japanese Hayabusa and NASA’s OSIRIS-REX missions have both successfully completed close encounters with near-Earth asteroids. In addition, the New Horizons mission travelled to Arrokoth, an object in the solar system’s far-off Kuiper region, to study it.

However, there has been no investigation on the Trojans that live in Jupiter’s neighborhood. There have been about 10,000 of these items found. The first of these comets was discovered well over a century ago, and scientists immediately started naming them after heroes from Homer’s Iliad. As a consequence, the term “Trojan” was coined as an all-purpose description.

In honour of the 3.2 million-year-old australopithecine skeleton found in 1974, the mission is named “Lucy.” The skeleton unveiled mysteries of human evolution and was given the name “Lucy” by NASA. The NASA team is hoping that the robotic Lucy will be able to do the same for the development of the solar system, and prehistory is a recurrent topic among the mission’s scientists and engineers.

A Boyle
I cover Science related topics for The National Era
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