. The Lucy mission, which launched in 2021, is a mission to study a primitive type of asteroid called a Trojan asteroid. Trojan asteroids are located near the orbits of two other giant planets – Jupiter and Neptune – and thought to be leftovers from the formation of the Solar System.
So far, the mission has revealed that the asteroids believed to be Trojans are composed of much more than simple rocks and dust. Initial observations have found evidence of organic molecules, water ice, and even larger particles – all of which are the building blocks of life. This means that Trojans may actually be active, dynamic environments, which could provide insight into how planets and stars formed in the early Solar System.
The Lucy mission is also planning to study how Trojan asteroids interact with each other and the other planets, and if they could have formed habitable regions in the past. Such insights could help us understand the ultimate origin of life in our Solar System.