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Dr. Dan Britt, FSI Principal Investigator On the CLASS Project, Is Co-Investigator On The Newly Selected NASA Mission “Lucy”

January 2016

“NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation, with the goal of launching in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

“Lucy will visit a target-rich environment of Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids, while Psyche will study a unique metal asteroid that’s never been visited before,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This is what Discovery Program missions are all about – boldly going to places we’ve never been to enable groundbreaking science.”

Lucy, a robotic spacecraft, is scheduled to launch in October 2021. It’s slated to arrive at its first destination, a main belt asteroid, in 2025. From 2027 to 2033, Lucy will explore six Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These asteroids are trapped by Jupiter’s gravity in two swarms that share the planet’s orbit, one leading and one trailing Jupiter in its 12-year circuit around the sun. The Trojans are thought to be relics of a much earlier era in the history of the solar system, and may have formed far beyond Jupiter’s current orbit.”

The above story is an excerpt from the NASA press release, “NASA Selects Two Missions to Explore the Early Solar System

For more articles regarding the “Lucy” Mission click the links below.

Orlando Sentinel article: “Asteroid, Venus missions selected by NASA for further development

UCF Today article: “UCF Professors Land NASA Grants Focused on Asteroids, Comets, Venus