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NASA's asteroid hunter Lucy soars into sky with diamonds

NASA Rocket launching into dark sky with clouds of smoke filling the ground
John Raoux/AP
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the LUCY spacecraft lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Lucy, will observe Trojan asteroids, a unique family of asteroids that orbit the sun in front of and behind Jupiter.

It will take eight years before Lucy is expected to reach the final asteroid formation on her journey.

A NASA spacecraft named Lucy has rocketed into the sky with diamonds on a 12-year quest to explore a record-setting eight asteroids.

Lucy blasted off before dawn Saturday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The rocket is sending Lucy on a roundabout journey to the Trojan asteroids near Jupiter. These mysterious space rocks swarming in Jupiter's orbit are thought to be the pristine leftovers of planetary formation. This is the first mission ever headed their way.

Lucy will travel nearly 4 billion miles before reaching its eighth and final target in 2033. The spacecraft has a disc made of lab-grown diamonds for one of its science instruments.

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