NASA’s Lucy asteroid mission will explore mysteries of the early of solar system

Spacecraft have visited most pockets of the solar system by now, but a new region is about to come under the robotic inspection: the two clumps of asteroids that flank mighty Jupiter in its orbit.

Although scientists have spotted thousands of so-called Trojan asteroids in these two swarms, no mission has ever seen one up close. That will change in 2027, when a mission dubbed Lucy makes its first of five flybys that will turn a select few Trojans from fuzzy specks of light into unique worlds. And it isn’t just about space rocks: the resulting portraits could help scientists piece together a better picture of the early days of the solar system.

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