|Goals||NASA's Lucy mission will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids, flying by one asteroid in the solar system’s main asteroid belt, and by seven Trojan asteroids.|
|Proposed Launch||No earlier than Oct. 16, 2021|
|Science Targets||Jupiter Trojans, Asteroids|
Lucy will be the first space mission to study the Trojan asteroids. Trojans are small bodies that are remnants of our early solar system. They orbit the Sun in two loose groups: one group leading ahead of Jupiter in its orbit, the other trailing behind.
During its 12-year primary mission, Lucy will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids, flying by one main belt asteroid, and seven Trojans.
No other space mission in history has been launched to as many different destinations in independent orbits around our Sun.
Lucy is scheduled to launch no earlier than Oct. 16, 2021, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The Lucy mission is named after the fossilized skeleton of an early hominin (pre-human ancestor) discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 and named “Lucy” by the team of paleoanthropologists who discovered it.
Just as the Lucy fossil provided unique insights into humanity’s evolution, the Lucy mission promises to revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system, including Earth.