NASA launches its Lucy spacecraft to study the Jupiter Trojan asteroids

NASA launches its Lucy spacecraft to study the Jupiter Trojan asteroids


A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the Lucy spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on October 16th | (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA’s Lucy space probe launched successfully from Cape Canaveral in Florida early Saturday, the beginning of a 12-year mission to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.

The uncrewed spacecraft lifted off at 5:34AM ET aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Lucy sent its first signal to Earth from its own antenna to NASA’s Deep Space Network at 6:40AM ET. Scientists believe the Trojan asteroids, which orbit the Sun along the same path as Jupiter, may hold clues about the formation of our solar system. It’s NASA’s first-ever single-spacecraft mission to explore so many different asteroids, the agency said.

Lucy is named for the fossilized human skeleton discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, which provided key insights into human evolution….

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