NASA has created the first rocket mission to Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, which scientists believe are remnants of the material that formed giant planets. Not much is known about these formations, but collecting data over 12 years could help scientists better understand our solar system’s evolution.
Named for the fossilized skeleton of one of our earliest known hominin ancestors, Lucy's mission is to spend the next decade capturing images from “fossils” of planetary formation. Then, it will orbit back around to Earth's gravity field for gravity assist throughout the long journey.
"Lucy embodies NASA's enduring quest to push out into the cosmos for the sake of exploration and science, better to understand the universe and our place within it," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
NASA's Discovery Program allows for scientists to create a more detailed understanding of the solar system and what mysteries can help us create a better future here on Earth.