The Lucy spacecraft is scheduled to launch in the early morning for its first mission to Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.
Tomorrow, October 16, at 5:34 AM EDT, is Lucy's first day and hour in Lucy's 21-day launch window. Current weather conditions indicate a 90% chance of favorable conditions for liftoff out of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The launch window will remain open for 75 minutes.
Lucy will embark on a 12-year mission that will explore Jupiter's Trojan Asteroid Swarms, the "fossils for planet formation". This mission will be the first time that these fascinating objects can be viewed close-up.
Lucy, named after Lucy, a fossilized human ancestor and "Lucy", will be the first spacecraft that visits 8 objects.
It will first study one major belt asteroid before heading to the Trojan asteroids. Scientists believe the Lucy mission will revolutionize knowledge about the origins of planets and the formations of the Solar System.
Launch coverage will begin on October 16 at 5 a.m. ET on different platforms. The countdown commentary, launch broadcast, and countdown commentary will air on NASA Television, the agency's website, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitch. Daily Motion, Theta.TV and NASA's app.
Illustration of the orbit of Jupiter by Lucy, which will enable it to study its Trojan population. (SwRI).
Trojan asteroids, whose name is derived from Greek mythology and orbit the sun in two separate swarms, one ahead Jupiter and another that lag behind it.
The Trojans are held there by Jupiter's gravitational effect, so if an object is placed there early in the solar systems history, it will be stable forever," Hal Levison, principal investigator on the Lucy mission said during a press conference. These things are the fossils of what these planets were formed from.
Both the mission and the fossil are a tribute to The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds". You can also see that the logo for the Lucy mission has a shape resembling a diamond.
Lucy mission logo. (SWRI).
Lucy will travel almost 4 billion miles (6.4 million kilometers) over 12 years. She travels at approximately 400,000 miles an hour (17,881.6 meters every second)
The seven Trojan asteroids Lucy is going to visit are named after Homer's heroes: Queta and Polymele, Eurybates and Queta. Orus, Orus, Patroclus. The first asteroid flyby will take place in 2025 when the spacecraft passes the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It also passes an asteroid called (52246) Donaldjohanson. This asteroid was named after the scientist who discovered the famous Lucy fossilized skull.
Universe Today originally published this article. You can read the original article.