The American spacecraft Lucy launched with a mission to study Trojan asteroids orbiting Jupiter. About it informs NASA.
Scientists believe that these asteroids are the remnants of the primordial protoplanetary material from which the solar system was formed. The Lucy spacecraft will study two large groups of celestial bodies, which can provide answers to questions about the initial period of formation and evolution of the planets of our galaxy.
Trojan asteroids have been in their pristine state since the beginning of the formation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. The spacecraft will make a series of flights at the closest possible distance to them in order to study the geology, chemistry and physics of these celestial bodies. The scientific instruments of the probe will allow obtaining detailed images of the surface of asteroids, determining their mass, properties and composition of the surface layer, including the presence of water ice and organic matter.
The first flight of the device past the Trojan asteroid, which is in the same orbit as Jupiter, is expected on April 20, 2025. In total, the probe will study eight asteroids.
The mission of the apparatus will last 12 years. During this time, the probe will have to cover a distance of 6.3 billion km.