NASA probe 'Ralph' set to visit Jupiter's Trojan asteroids

Published on November 09, 2018
NASA's Ralph- a space instrument that has travelled as far as Pluto- is set to explore Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, which are remnants from the early days of the solar system.
NASA probe 'Ralph' set to visit Jupiter's Trojan asteroids
  • Ralph was first launched aboard the New Horizons spacecraft in 2006 and obtained stunning flyby images of Jupiter and its moons.
  • This was followed by a visit to Pluto where Ralph took the first high-definition pictures of the iconic minor planet.

More Details:

  • In 2021, Ralph is set to journey with the Lucy mission to Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.
  • The instrumet will fly by another Kuiper Belt object called 2014 MU69- nicknamed Ultima Thule- in January 2019. 
  • Ralph's observations of 2014 MU69 will provide unique insights into this small, icy world.
  • The Lucy spacecraft carries a near-twin of Ralph, called L'Ralph, which will investigate Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.
  • The L'Ralph instrument suite will study this diverse group of bodies. 
  • Lucy will fly by six Trojans and one Main Belt asteroid- more than any other previous asteroid mission. 
    • L'Ralph will detect the Trojan asteroids' chemical fingerprints.
  • L'Ralph allows scientists to interpret data provided by the Sun's reflected light that are the fingerprints of different elements and compounds.
  • These data could provide clues about how organic molecules form in primitive bodies, a process that might also have led to the emergence of life on Earth.

Question:

Q. Which space instrument of NASA that has travelled as far as Pluto- is set to explore Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, which are remnants from the early days of the solar system?
a. John
b. Ralph
c. Mathew
d. None of the above

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