NASA has announced two space missions to be launched in 2021 and 2023. These missions will study space bodies that have not been studied before, including asteroids in Jupiter´s vicinity and an asteroid made of metal. Lucy and Psyche missions will help scientists learn more about the formation of the Solar system at a time less than 10 million years after the formation of the sun. It will open new perspectives about the origins, evolution and the the development of life on earth and probably in other planets.

Lucy mission

This Spacecraft will launch in October 2021 and is planned to arrive to its first target in 2015.

From 2027-2033, Lucy spacecraft will study six Jupiter Trojan asteroids. This asteroids orbit the sun in two swarms that follow Jupiter’s orbit-one in front and the other behind the gas giant planet. These bodies are believed to be fragments of planets and possess clues that will help understand better the early origins of the solar system. Lucy will carry newer versions of the science instruments that helped New Horizon´s exploration of Pluto and the Kuiper belt.

Psyche mission

This vehicle will explore a huge metal asteroid called 16 Psyche located 3 astronomical units away from the sun. It´s 210 km (130 miles) in diameter and is believed to be made of iron and nickel-the same material that earth´s core is made of.

Scientists believe that Psyche could be the remnant of a planet´s core that lost its rocky mantle due to powerful collisions in the early formation of the solar system. The study of this body will open new perceptions of the way in which planets differentiated into different layers.

Missions that will open new perspectives about life

Psyche is planned to launch in October 2023 and will reach its target in 2030, after an earth gravity assist in 2024 and a Mars flyby in 2025. While Lucy will study leftovers of bodies such as planets, 16 Psyche will explore the core of what is believed to be the core of a failed planet. Scientists believe that knowledge about these asteroids will help them understand how the earth formed, evolved and became a place where life, as we know it, could developed