Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















IRON AND ICE
ASU Spectrometer to Fly on New Nasa Mission to Distant 'Trojan' Asteroids
by Staff Writers
Tempe AZ (SPX) Jan 05, 2017


The Thermal Emission Spectrometer for the Lucy mission will be a close copy of the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer, seen here under construction in the cleanroom on the Tempe campus. Its task in the Lucy mission will be to measure surface temperatures of primitive asteroids as a way of determining their physical properties. Photo by Philip Christensen/ASU

The Lucy mission to Jupiter's Trojan asteroids has been chosen by NASA for flight under the agency's Discovery Program. Lucy will carry an ASU-designed and -developed thermal emission spectrometer, which will measure surface temperatures on each asteroid the spacecraft visits, said Philip Christensen of the university's School of Earth and Space Exploration.

"I'm really excited about this instrument, the third to be built here at SESE," said Christensen, thermal emission spectrometer designer and principal investigator.

The device continues a growing tradition of hands-on engineering for exploration that has become hallmark of the school, said Christensen, Regents' Professor of geological sciences.

The announcement Wednesday came as NASA also selected for development an ASU-led mission to a metallic asteroid.

Both projects were approved through NASA's Discovery Program, a series of cost-capped exploratory missions into the solar system.

The Lucy mission was named for the iconic fossil skeleton, since it will investigate a particular collection of primitive asteroids that scientists hope may uncover fossils of planetary formation.

Its flight plan calls for a 2021 launch. Among the potential targets for an extended mission is asteroid 52246 Donaldjohanson, named for the discoverer of the Lucy fossil and director of ASU's Institute of Human Origins in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change.

Originating at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, the mission is under the direction of principal investigator Harold Levison of the Southwest Research Institute.

The target objects for the Lucy mission are asteroids that have never before been studied at close range. These minor planets circle the Sun at same distance as Jupiter, roughly five times farther out than Earth, and in the same 12-year orbit as Jupiter. Through a quirk of orbital dynamics, they remain caught in two swarms, one leading and one trailing Jupiter as it orbits the sun.

The first of these asteroids was discovered in 1906 and named for the Greek warrior Achilles from Homer's epic poem "The Iliad."

As more asteroids were discovered in similar orbits, astronomers started naming them after Homeric Greek and Trojan warriors. Those with Greek names orbit ahead of Jupiter, the Trojan-named ones orbit behind. Collectively, however, both groups are called Trojans, and there are now nearly 6,200 known asteroids in Trojan orbits with Jupiter.

The mission should arrive among the Trojans in 2027 and visit six asteroids by 2033.

Because Jupiter's Trojan asteroids orbit far from the Sun, they all have very cold surfaces. The role in the mission for TES, Christensen said, is to measure temperatures with great precision all over each asteroid that the Lucy spacecraft visits.

"By mapping how temperatures vary by the local time of day," Christensen explained, "we can map the surface properties of these previously unknown objects."

That will help planetary scientists decipher their histories and how they have changed since the solar system's early days.

"With each new mission," Christensen said, "we're expanding the types of solar system objects we're studying here are ASU."


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Arizona State University
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
IRON AND ICE
PANIC Lander to Revolutionize Asteroid Research
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Dec 22, 2016
A US-German team of researchers has proposed to develop a micro-scale low-cost surface lander for the in situ characterization of an asteroid. The tiny spacecraft, called the Pico Autonomous Near-Earth Asteroid In Situ Characterizer (PANIC), could be a breakthrough for the scientific community, offering simple and cheap solutions for asteroid research. The concept of the PANIC mission envi ... read more


IRON AND ICE
Space station battery replacements to begin New Year's Eve

Launch of Russia's new progress spacecraft set for February 2

Tech show looks beyond 'smart,' to new 'realities'

'Passengers' and the real-life science of deep space travel

IRON AND ICE
SpaceX ready to launch again

Europe and Russia looking at Space Tug Project

India to develop large scale solid fuel mixer

Russia won't be leaving Baikonur anytime soon

IRON AND ICE
Odyssey recovering from precautionary pause in activity

3-D images reveal features of Martian polar ice caps

Small Troughs Growing on Mars May Become 'Spiders'

All eyes on Trump over Mars

IRON AND ICE
China Plans to Launch 1st Mars Probe by 2020 - State Council Information Office

China to expand int'l cooperation on space sciences

China sees rapid development of space science and technology

China Space Plan to Develop "Strength and Size"

IRON AND ICE
Airbus DS and Energia eye new medium-class satellite platform

OneWeb announces key funding form SoftBank Group and other investors

Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development

SoftBank delivers first $1 bn of Trump pledge, to space firm

IRON AND ICE
Russian static discharge measure unit to prolong satellite equipment lifespan

'Just the first stage': unique 3D-printed Siberian satellite to orbit Earth

How to 3-D print your own sonic tractor beam

Saab, UAE sign radar support deal

IRON AND ICE
The blob can learn and teach

Searching a sea of 'noise' to find exoplanets - using only data as a guide

Microlensing Study Suggests Most Common Outer Planets Likely Neptune-mass

Exciting new creatures discovered on ocean floor

IRON AND ICE
Exploring Pluto and the Wild Back Yonder

Juno Captures Jupiter 'Pearl'

Juno Mission Prepares for December 11 Jupiter Flyby

Research Offers Clues About the Timing of Jupiter's Formation




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement