Tim Russ, who played Lieutenant Commander Tuvok on the sci-fi show “Star Trek: Voyager” is going back to his space roots. On his latest mission, he’s helping detect asteroids for NASA.
Russ and five other citizen astronomers contributed to the detection of Patroclus, an asteroid orbiting Jupiter.
The purpose of detecting the asteroid is to serve NASA’s upcoming mission in October where it will launch a probe named Lucy into space, according to Russ. NASA said in a statement posted to their website that Lucy will complete a 12-year journey to eight different asteroids: a Main Belt and seven Trojans.
“These Trojan asteroids were captured in Jupiter’s orbit, probably from farther out in the solar system, so they’re more rare and more pristine in terms of what information they might have in their chemical makeup,” Russ tells USA TODAY.
According to NASA, the Trojan asteroids are “stabilized by the Sun and its largest planet in a gravitational balancing act. …These primitive bodies hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system, and perhaps even the origins of organic material on Earth.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Sudiksha Kochi