The Lucy spacecraft, launched to study the trojan asteroids around Jupiter has beamed back the first image of Earth as it looks back at home. In order to use Earth’s gravity to advance toward Jupiter, the probe seized Earth as it approached.
Lucy is the first mission that will fly by a total of eight ancient asteroids to study the solar system’s evolution. The spacecraft is on a 12-year journey to visit one main asteroid belt and seven Jupiter Trojan asteroids. It was launched in October 2021.
On October 15 of this year, Earth is seen hanging in the depths of space in an image that was taken as part of an instrument calibration process at a distance of 6,20,000 kilometres.
The picture was taken by Lucy’s Terminal Tracking Camera (T2CAM) system, which consists of two identical cameras that are in charge of following asteroids during high-speed interactions.
The spacecraft also captured the Earth-Moon system on October 13 from a distance of 1.4 million kilometers away.
Lucy, which takes her name from a prehistoric fossil of a human ancestor, will be the first solar-powered spacecraft to go this distance from the sun and will collect more data on asteroids than any previous investigation.