Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroids: Science goals

Harold F. Levison, Catherine B. Olkin, Keith S. Noll, Simone Marchi, James F. Bell, Edward Bierhaus, Richard Binzel, William Bottke, Dan Britt, Michael Brown, Marc Buie, Phil Christensen, Joshua Emery, Will Grundy, Victoria E. Hamilton, Carly Howett, Stefano Mottola, Martin Pätzold, Dennis Reuter, John SpencerThomas S. Statler, S. Alan Stern, Jessica Sunshine, Harold Weaver, Ian Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Lucy Mission is a NASA Discovery-class mission to send a highly capable and robust spacecraft to investigate seven primitive bodies near both the L4 and L5 Lagrange points with Jupiter: the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These planetesimals from the outer planetary system have been preserved since early in solar system history. The Lucy mission will fly by and extensively study a diverse selection of Trojan asteroids, including all the recognized taxonomic classes, a collisional family member, and a near equal-mass binary. It will visit objects with diameters ranging from roughly 1 km to 100 km. The payload suite consists of a color camera and infrared imaging spectrometer, a high-resolution panchromatic imager, and a thermal infrared spectrometer. Additionally, two spacecraft subsystems will also contribute to the science investigations: the terminal tracking cameras will supplement imaging during closest approach and the telecommunication subsystem will be used to measure the mass of the Trojans. The science goals are derived from the 2013 Planetary Decadal Survey and include determining the surface composition, assessing the geology, determining the bulk properties, and searching for satellites and rings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabf840
JournalPlanetary Science Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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