NASA to launch Lucy mission Saturday to explore new asteroids

More than 500 folks from NASA and the non-public sector are engaged on the $981 million project.

HOUSTON — NASA will launch a new mission Saturday to explore an historic group of asteroids for the primary time.

“[The goal is] to learn not only about the history, but then to be able to model the future,” stated Joan Salute, the division affiliate director for flight packages, planetary science division at NASA.

Salute is one in every of greater than 500 folks from NASA and the non-public sector engaged on the $981 million, 12-year-long Lucy Mission. It’s named after the “Lucy” skeleton that helped scientists piece collectively human evolution.

Salute and her crew hope to do the identical with the photo voltaic system through the use of robotic spacecraft to research eight Trojan asteroids following Jupiter’s orbit across the solar.

Those asteroids have been virtually untouched for the reason that delivery of the photo voltaic system.

“We’re looking back four-and-a-half billion years ago when these planets were formed to find out how it all got started and happened,” Salute stated.

Salute stated the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston gained’t have any important involvement with the mission. The crew gained’t see any scientific information till 2025 on the earliest.

“The kids that are in like elementary school right now, they’ll be analyzing this data in the future, so there’s a long road ahead of us,” Salute stated.

The launch of the Lucy mission spacecraft is scheduled for five:34 a.m. ET Saturday in Florida.

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