Episode 583

A Single Spacecraft Will Visit Seven Asteroids. NASA's Lucy Mission Passes Its Design Review

00:00:00
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00:11:04

October 30th, 2019

11 mins 4 secs

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About this Episode

Scientists have had the opportunity to examine several asteroids in the Solar System now, and what they’ve learned is how much variety is out there, depending on the mass, distance from the Sun and composition.

Astronomers currently know of 829,400 asteroids across the Solar System, and they’d love to visit as many of them as possible to learn more about them.

Considering the price of a single spacecraft, that’s going to get expensive. Fortunately, there are places in the Solar System that have trapped a large number of asteroids in a way that a single spacecraft can visit several of them as part of a mission.

They’re at Jupiter’s L4 and L5 Lagrange points, and this week NASA approved a new mission that’ll explore 7 different asteroids over a 12-year journey.

It’s called Lucy.

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Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / [email protected]
Karla Thompson - @karlaii / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw
Chad Weber - [email protected]

References:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/lucy-mission-clears-critical-milestone
https://www.lpi.usra.edu/decadal/sbag/topical_wp/AndrewSRivkin-trojans.pdf
https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/lucy-the-first-mission-to-jupiter-s-trojans
http://lucy.swri.edu//mission/Targets.html
https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Asteroids_Structure_and_composition_of_asteroids
https://sci.esa.int/web/mars-express/-/31031-phobos
http://lucy.swri.edu//mission/Spacecraft.html

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