NASA spacecraft takes off to visit asteroids around Jupiter in 12-year mission

A NASA spacecraft named Lucy was shot into the sky to launch a 12-year asteroid exploration mission. Lucy will explore asteroids around Jupiter …

A NASA spacecraft named Lucy was shot into the sky to launch a 12-year asteroid exploration mission.

Lucy will explore asteroids around Jupiter that are believed to be fragments of the early solar system.

“We believe that understanding the threats to Earth is a really critical part of analyzing asteroids, and particularly near-Earth objects,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s assistant science administrator.

“This particular one isn’t a threat to Earth, it’s out there and we can visit and learn how to give momentum.”

Scientists hope to find out more about how the solar system evolved. It will take Lucy six years to build enough momentum to reach Jupiter.

“The spacecraft is now flying at about 108,000 km / h on a trajectory that orbits the sun and will bring it back to Earth for gravity assistance in October 2022,” NASA said in a statement.

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