“Lucy”: probe launched for the first time to Jupiter asteroids

The so-called Jupiter Trojans are asteroids that orbit the sun in the same orbit as the planet. Now, with “Lucy”, a NASA probe has gone there for the first time broken up. Researchers hope to gain knowledge about the formation of the planets.

With the NASA probe “Lucy”, a spacecraft set off for the asteroids of Jupiter for the first time. With the help of an “Atlas V” rocket, “Lucy” took off on Saturday from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida, as announced by the US space agency Nasa. Shortly afterwards, 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.

Sonda “Lucy” and the Iliad

The more than 14-meter-long probe, which is powered by fuel and batteries that can be recharged via solar cells, is supposed to fly close to seven of the so-called Jupiter Trojans: Eurybates, Queta, Polymele, Leucus, Orus, Patroclus and Menoetius – all named after protagonists from the Ancient legend “Iliad” by Homer.

The Jupiter Trojans are asteroids that orbit the sun in the same orbit as Jupiter – a swarm rushes ahead of it, one follows it. They are considered “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, “Lucy” will also fly close to 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 the vicinity of the earth in order to get support from its gravity for its flight to get. The first asteroid flyby is scheduled for 2025, with the others scheduled for between 2027 and 2033.

Sonde is named after the Beatles song

The name of the probe is taken from the Beatles song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”. It is said to have boomed from a cassette recorder when researchers discovered parts of the skeleton of a pre-human female in the Ethiopian Afar Triangle in 1974. The discovery proved for the first time that the forerunners of today’s humans could walk upright around three million years ago. The fossil – and now the NASA probe as well – was nicknamed “Lucy”. According to NASA, the reason is simple: “Just as the” Lucy “fossil provided unique insights into human development, the” Lucy “mission promises to revolutionize our knowledge of the formation of planets and the solar system.”


Source: DIGITAL FERNSEHEN by www.digitalfernsehen.de.

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