Three years later, in October 2021, Lucy will head for Jupiter, who will visit even seven asteroids during his mission.
Last week, NASA has confirmed that the mission will certainly be executed, allocate a budget for it and schedule a release date.
Such a mission is unprecedented: to date, the only Dawn has visited more than one around the Sun, a body that is not a planet; New horizons will join soon, but up to seven objects for other missions are still far away.
Lucy's targets are an asteroid in the main ring between Mars and Jupiter, four body asteroids on one side of Jupiter and two on the other. These two bodies, known as the Jupiter (or, specifically, Troy and the Greeks) asteroids, exist in Jupiter's orbit, about one-sixth of the planet's orbit and beyond; they are held there by the general gravity of Jupiter and the Sun.
The mission is named after the famous fossil of the Australian architecture found in Ethiopia in 1974. Similarly, as Lucy's fossils helped to understand the evolution of mankind, Lucy's probe should contribute to understanding the course of planetary formation in the solar system.