NASA found another target for Lucy
(ORDO NEWS) — On its way to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, the Lucy probe will visit an additional target, according to NASA.
The Lucy expedition launched into space in October 2021. Its goal is to study Trojan asteroids in Jupiter’s orbit.
Until recent changes, the expedition plan looked like this: on the way to the L₄ point in 2025, the probe should fly by the Donaldjohanson object (52246 Donaldjohanson), located in the Main asteroid belt.
The device will reach the vicinity of the L₄ point in 2027.
There he will visit the double asteroids Eurybates (3548 Eurybates) and Polymela (15094 Polymele), and then the asteroids Leucus (11351 Leucus) and Orus (21900 Orus).
After studying them, Lucy will return to Earth and use its gravity to perform a maneuver that will send the device to the L₅ point.
In 2033, Lucy will approach the double asteroid Patroclus (617 Patroclus). It turns out that in 12 years Lucy had to study nine asteroids.
However, now the number of asteroids that Lucy will visit has increased to ten.
The mission management decided to include in the expedition program a flyby of object (152830) 1999 VD57, which is a small Main Belt asteroid. Its diameter is only 700 meters.
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