NASA's Lucy spacecraft is bound to launch this week or on Oct. 16 to be exact. It seeks to study the Trojan asteroids near the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter.
NASA's next mission will involve a 12-year journey of the spacecraft that goes by the name Lucy. The endeavor of the United States space agency seeks to learn more about what lies beyond the outer solar system, according to Space.com's latest report.
NASA Lucy Spacecraft Launch
As per WFTV, both NASA and the United Launch Alliance or the ULA confirmed that the launch of the Lucy spacecraft from Space Coast in Florida is "all systems go." NASA is partnering with ULA to send Lucy to space atop its Atlas V-401 rocket.
To be more precise, the launch of NASA's Lucy is scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 16, at exactly 5:34 am. But that is if the good weather persists, and the launch goes smoothly.
Nevertheless, the Lucy spacecraft will still undergo another "Launch Readiness Review" on Oct.13 before its scheduled blast off.
Last Friday morning or on Oct. 8, NASA officials concluded its second to the last "Flight Readiness Review" with no unprecedented issues.
NASA's Lucy Spacecraft
It is worth noting that the Lucy spacecraft is expected to break two notable milestones. One is to be the first-ever space vehicle to specifically visit Jupiter's asteroids. On top of that, the mission is also slated to be the first to go to the outer solar system and make a flyby on Earth.
What's more, NASA's mission will not only make history but will also play an integral part in the study of the early history of the universe. The data that the Lucy spacecraft will be learning from the mission will be used by scientists to expand its knowledge on the early days of the solar system.
Lucy Spacecraft and Asteroids Near Jupiter
The 12-year mission of the Lucy spacecraft also seeks to study various types of asteroids seen near Jupiter.
One of these asteroids is the D-type, which has low reflectivity, but is rich in organic molecules. The other kind is the P-type, which could also be like the D-type but still need confirmation as Earth samples do not have this kind. And lastly, the C-type or the most common ancient type of asteroids, as per the website of Lucy.
Meanwhile, the Lucy spacecraft will specifically be targeting multiple asteroid bodies, namely the 3547 Eurybates, 11351 Leucus, 21900 Orus, and the 15094 Polymele.
To support the study, the spacecraft will be carrying tools that will help the scientists extract data from the mission.
Here are some of the devices: a long-range snapper to capture the surface of the asteroid, a terminal-tracking camera for wide-field images, and a thermal emission spectrometer to measure the heat.
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Written by Teejay Boris