What is it?
- Lucy is a NASA spacecraft on a 12-year quest to explore eight asteroids.
- Lucy’s $981 million mission is the first to aim for Jupiter’s so-called Trojan entourage: thousands of asteroids that share the gas giant’s expansive orbit around the sun.
- Some of the Trojan asteroids precede Jupiter in its orbit, while others trail it.
- The mysterious space rocks are among swarms of asteroids sharing Jupiter’s orbit, thought to be the pristine leftovers of a planetary formation.
- The spacecraft also carries a disc made of lab-grown diamonds for one of its science instruments.
- Lucy is named after the 3.2 million-year-old skeletal remains of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia nearly a half-century ago.
Why in News:
- NASA has launched Lucy mission recently.