The so-called Jupiter Trojans are asteroids that revolve around the Sun in the same orbit as the planet. Well, with “Lucy”, there’s been a NASA probe for the first time.
the essences in brief
- With the NASA probe “Lucy”, a spaceship went for the first time to the asteroids of Jupiter.
Using an “Atlas V” rocket, “Lucy” was launched from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida, as announced by the US space agency NASA.
Shortly thereafter, NASA tweeted, “Lucy in the sky!” The mission is scheduled to run for twelve years, and “Lucy” is expected to cover a total of 6.5 billion kilometers.
The more than 14 meters long probe, which is powered by fuel and batteries that can be charged via solar cells, must fly close to seven of the so-called Jupiter Trojans: Eurybates, Queta, Polymele, Leucus, Orus, Patroclus and Menoetius – all named after protagonists of Homer’s ancient legend “Iliad”.
The Jupiter Trojans are asteroids orbiting the Sun in the same orbit as Jupiter – a swarm moves forward, one follows it. They are considered to be the ‘fossils of the formation of the planets’, which is why NASA hopes that the mission will provide new insights into the formation of the planets and our solar system.
In addition, it is said that “Lucy” also flew near an asteroid in the so-called main belt between Mars and Jupiter’s orbits and – also as the first probe in the history of space travel – to return three times to Earth’s orbit to support to get her gravity for his flight to get. The first asteroid flyby is planned for 2025, with the others planned for between 2027 and 2033.
The name of the probe is taken from the Beatles song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”. It is said to have come from a cassette recorder when investigators discovered parts of the skeleton of a pre-human woman in the Ethiopian Afar Triangle in 1974. The discovery proved for the first time that the ancestors of today’s humans could walk upright about three million years ago. The fossil – and now also the NASA probe – was nicknamed “Lucy”. According to NASA, the reason is simple: “Just as the” Lucy “fossil provided unique insights into human evolution, the” Lucy “mission promises to revolutionize our knowledge of planet formation and the solar system.”
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