Cape Canaveral, Florida (AP) —Saturday morning, a NASA spacecraft named Lucy flew into the sky with diamonds during a 12-year exploration of eight asteroids.
Seven of the mysterious space rocks are in a swarm of asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbit and are believed to be the pristine remnants of planet formation.
The Atlas V rocket exploded before dawn, embarking on a roundabout journey of about 4 billion miles (6.3 billion kilometers). Researchers have heightened the sentiment to explain the success of the launch — chief scientist Hal Levison said it was like witnessing the birth of a child. “Go to Lucy!” He urged.
Lucy is named after a 3.2 million-year-old skeletal relic of a human ancestor discovered in Ethiopia nearly half a century ago. The discovery, named after the 1967 Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” gave NASA a soaring spaceship with the lyrics of band members and the words of wisdom of other celebrities engraved on the plaque. I urged you to send it. The spacecraft also carried a laboratory-grown diamond disc as one of its scientific instruments.
In a NASA recorded video, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr paid tribute to his deceased colleague John Lennon, who was famous for writing songs that inspired all of this.
“I’m very excited — Lucy is back in the sky with a diamond. Johnny should love it,” Star said. “Anyway, if you meet someone there, Lucy, give them peace and love from me.”
Donald Johanson, a paleoanthropologist behind Lucy’s fossil discovery, was goosebumps when he saw Lucy soar. He said he was full of wonders about this “intersection of our past, present and future.”
Johansson of Arizona State University traveled to Cape Canaveral for the first rocket launch.
Lucy’s $ 981 million mission is the first to become an aide to Jupiter’s so-called Trojan horse. Thousands (if not millions) of asteroids that share the vast orbits of gas giants around the Sun. Some trojan Jupiter asteroids precede Jupiter in its orbit, while others track it.
Despite their orbits, Trojans are far from the planet, most scattered far from each other. Lebison of the Southwest Institute, the mission’s chief scientist, said Lucy’s chances of being attacked by one person are essentially zero when Lucy plunges beyond her goals.
Lucy will pass Earth again in October and 2024 next year, gaining enough gravitational force to reach Jupiter’s orbit. On the way there, the spacecraft passes the asteroid Donald Johanson between Mars and Jupiter. A well-named rock acts as a 2025 warm-up act for scientific instruments.
Lucy draws power from two giant circular sun wings and chases five asteroids in a major pack of Trojan horses in the late 2020s. The spacecraft will then zoom back towards Earth in 2030 for another gravity assist. This will send Lucy back to the subsequent Trojan cluster, passing through the last two targets in 2033 to win the record eight asteroids visited in a single mission. ..
This is a complex detour that NASA’s chief science mission, Thomas Zurbuchen, first shook his head. “You’re kidding. Is this possible?” He remembered asking.
Lucy passes within 600 miles (965 km) of each target. The largest is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) in diameter.
“Are there mountains? Valleys? Pit? Mesa? Do you know? You’ll be surprised,” said Halweaver of Johns Hopkins University, who is in charge of Lucy’s black-and-white camera. “But I can’t wait to see images of these fossils come to light from the formation of the solar system.”
NASA will launch another mission next month to test whether humans can change the orbit of an asteroid. Practice in case the Earth is heading towards Killer Rock this way.
NASA’s asteroid Hunter Lucy soars into the sky with diamonds | Chicago News
Source link NASA’s asteroid Hunter Lucy soars into the sky with diamonds | Chicago News