They will be launched on 2021 and 2023. "Because the Trojans are remnants of the primordial material that formed the outer planets, they hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system. Lucy, like the human fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins", Harold Levison said in a recent interview. While Juno is studying what Jupiter is made up of, the Lucy mission will try to look back in time with The Trojans. Some scientists believe it was an exposed core from an early planet, which likely lost its rocky outer layer due to collisions with other space objects.
Lucy will build on the success of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, using newer versions of the RALPH and LORRI science instruments that helped enable the mission's achievements.
Announced as part of its Discovery Program, the two space missions, called Psyche and Lucy, will explore two of the solar system's most unusual space rocks. The asteroid, 210 kilometres in diameter, is the only known body in the solar system with a metallic core accessible for study. Lead proponent Lindy Elkins-Tanton said the mission will give opportunity for the study of a different type of world - not rock, gas or ice but metal, cited Science Alert. "We learn about inner space by visiting outer space". Previously, the company developed the Lunar Prospector spacecraft; developed the aeroshell entry system for Mars Pathfinder; developed and operated the spacecraft for both Stardust missions; developed and operated the Genesis spacecraft; developed and operated the two GRAIL spacecraft; and developed and will operate the InSight Mars lander set to launch in May 2018.
Psyche is also a new robot mission.
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It is also one of the most massive objects in the asteroid belt containing a little less than 1 percent of the total mass of the entire asteroid belt. Scientists suspect the asteroids, now caught in the largest planet's 12-year orbit around the sun, may have existed in the beginnings of the solar system and before Jupiter's orbit.
Same day NASA also announced that Neocam the telescope will explore asteroids that are expected to strike the earth.
Nasa noted that these Discovery Programme missions are "relatively low-cost" with development capped at around $450m (£365m). Lucy and Psyche will be created to dig up information regarding the Solar system. A giant metal asteroid is discovered. The OSIRIS-REx mission, which launched on September 8, 2016, is speeding toward a 2018 rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu, and will deliver a sample back to Earth in 2023.