A spacecraft to launch a mission to uncover “the fossils” of the Solar System
The Lucy probe will head out to the orbit of Jupiter to study two groups of asteroids that run in swarms ahead of, and behind, the gas giant.
US space agency (Nasa) scientists say the objects are leftovers from the formation of the planets.
As such, these trojans, as they’re known, hold important clues about the early evolution of the Solar System.
There is a famous human fossil from Africa that was nicknamed Lucy, which taught us much about where our species came from. And this new Nasa mission takes direct inspiration – and the name – from that origins story, except the fossils this spacecraft seeks are more than a billion miles from Earth, circling the Sun in formation with Jupiter.