NASA's Lucy mission to explore clues about our early Solar System

A mission NASA hopes will tell us more about the origins of our Solar System — and maybe even life itself — is one step closer to liftoff


NSFW    GREENBELT, MARYLAND — NASA plans to launch the first spacecraft ever to study Jupiter's Trojan clusters, a group of asteroids that share Jupiter's orbit around the Sun. NASA engineers recently got the greenlight to assemble and test the spacecraft, the space agency announced in a press release on August 28.

Because Jupiter's Trojans are believed to be the remnants of what formed the planets, scientists hope they will yield clues about the formation of our Solar System. In its press release NASA called them "time capsules from the birth of our Solar System."

Jupiter's Trojans only reflect four or five percent of the light that hits them, which means dark carbon compounds may exist on their surfaces. If so, it would indicate that organic compounds, the building blocks for life, were common throughout the early Solar System.
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