Conceptual view of the Lucy mission
NASA's first Trojan exploration mission (the population of primitive asteroids around Jupiter) on October 31 received the green light to advance. The agency gave permission for the development and launch of the Lucy spacecraft in 2021.
The verification team set the cost and schedule for the mission. They also approved detailed plans, a set of tools, a budget and analysis of risk factors for the device. The next important stage will consider the design of the Lucy system. If all goes well, the team will be able to assemble the spacecraft and install scientific instruments.
Until that day, the mission remained only on papers and drawings. Now it is possible to take on the direct implementation of the project. Lucy is the first space mission to study Trojan asteroids. The name was given in honor of “Lucy” - the petrified ancestor of man, whose skeleton allowed for a unique understanding of the evolution of humanity. It is believed that this mission will also have a revolutionary effect on our knowledge of the planetary origin and the formation of the solar system. Lucy plan to launch in October 2021. During the 12-year journey, the spacecraft will visit 7 different asteroids (the main belt and 6 Trojans). The apparatus with the tools will study the geology, surface composition and volumetric physical characteristics of these bodies from a close distance.