NASA’s Lucy mission, the first ever dedicated to studying Trojan asteroids (remnants from the formation of the Solar System), took off Saturday aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket.
The launch took place at 5:34 local time (9:34 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Lucy will begin work in 2025 and will complete its mission in 12 years, in 2033.
During its mission to the orbit of Jupiter, it will study eight asteroids: one from the planet’s main belt and seven Trojans, which are ‘fossils’ of the early Solar System from more than 4 billion years ago, which may provide clues about how planets are formed.
The name of the mission is inspired by ‘Lucy’, one of the best known human fossils discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia which taught scientists much of what we know about early humans. EFE