National Geographic explores the biggest mysteries of the universe

The September 2021 issue focuses on remapping the solar system

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Airdate: Thursday, October 7, 2021

A solar array for NASA’s Lucy spacecraft unfurls as it is tested at a Lockheed Martin facility in Colorado. Set to launch in October, Lucy will need two of these arrays to generate power during its 12-year mission to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. These ancient swarms, which orbit the sun alongside the giant planet, may hold clues to the solar system’s original layout. (PATRICK H. CORKERY, LOCKHEED MARTIN)

There is still so much we don’t know about the universe.

In fact, scientists have only identified about a million solar system objects in space, and expect to find millions more in the next decade or so.

National Geographic science writer Michael Greshko authored the magazine’s September 2021 cover story, Mysteries of the Solar System. He joins Smart Talk Thursday to share details of a behind-the-scenes visit to the construction site of NASA’s Lucy spacecraft in Colorado in 2020, as it prepared for launch.

For more on this story, visit natgeo.com/space.

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