4th October, 2021 Science and Technology
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- NASA is poised to send its first spacecraft called LUCY to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids to glean new insights into the solar system's formation 4.5 billion years ago.
- The probe, called Lucy after an ancient fossil that provided insights into the evolution of human species, will launch on October 16 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
- Aim: Its mission is to investigate the group of rocky bodies circling the Sun in two swarms, one preceding Jupiter in its orbital path and the other trailing behind it.
- After receiving boosts from Earth's gravity, Lucy will embark on a 12-year journey to eight different asteroids -- one in the Main Belt between Mars and Jupiter and then seven Trojans.
- Whatever Lucy finds will give us vital clues about the formation of our solar system.
- Lucy (Australopithecus), a fossilized hominid of the species Australopithecus afarensis.
- Researchers discovered Lucy the fossil in Ethiopia in 1974.