The mysteries of the universe have always baffled scientists and now NASA is ready to get going with its two major asteroid missions. NASA's twin mission named Lucy and Psyche are expected to bring the curtains down on many secrets of the solar system.
NASA's missions that go by the names of Lucy and Psyche will be using unmanned robotic spacecraft to discover asteroids, reports Morning Ticker. While Lucy will be sent to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter, Psyche will visit a very old and giant metal asteroid that runs into 130 miles and is made up of iron and nickel.
The former will launch in October 2021 and the first stop will not happen until 2025. As for the latter, the launch is scheduled in October 2023.
Psyche could help scientists understand how planets and other masses break up to form cores, crusts, and mantles. On the other hand, Lucy will reach a target-rich environment of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.
According to Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, these discovery program missions are all about boldly going to places scientists have never been to so that it will enable groundbreaking science. Harold F. Levison, who is the principal investigator of the Lucy mission, said that the Trojan asteroids hold significant clues and can help a lot in uncovering the history of the solar system, claims French Tribune.
This is because they are remnants of the primordial material that formed the outer planets. As per Levison, Lucy will revolutionize the understanding of humanity's origin.
These asteroid missions of NASA will take scientists back into the beginning of the solar system which means around 10 million years after the birth of the Sun. Since they are unmanned, they will be controlled by scientists on earth. They will come back to their destinations after the explorations in 2025 and 2030 respectively.
Both Lucy and Percy are ambitious asteroid missions of NASA and scientists believe they will prove to be successful in unraveling the deepest secrets of the universe. This is because asteroids have been around since the genesis of the solar system and also before Jupiter began its orbit.