NASA’s 12-year-old Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids kicks off this week – how to watch it live


October 16, 2021, NasaThe Lucy spacecraft will begin its journey to visit a record number of asteroids. The 12-year mission begins at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where it will be launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket. From there, Lucy will be the first spacecraft to visit a record number of orbital destinations. independent around the sun – one main belt asteroid and seven of the JupiterTrojan asteroids. As the mission’s namesake – the fossilized human ancestor, “Lucy”, whose skeleton provided unique insight into the evolution of mankind – Lucy will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system. . Credit: NASA

NASA will cover the upcoming pre-launch and launch activities of Lucy, the agency’s first mission to explore the Jupiter Trojan asteroids.

Lucy’s launch is scheduled for no earlier than 5:34 a.m. EDT on Saturday, October 16 on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida.

Live coverage of the launch will begin at 5 a.m. EDT on NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website. NASA will hold a pre-launch briefing on Wednesday, October 13, and science and technology briefings on October 14.

During her 12-year main mission, Lucy will explore a record number of asteroids. The spacecraft will fly over an asteroid in the Solar System’s Main Belt and seven Trojan asteroids. Lucy’s path will circle the Earth three times for gravitational aids, making her the first spacecraft to return close to our planet from the Outer Solar System.

Lucy will be the first space mission to explore the Trojan asteroids. It is about a population of small bodies resulting from the formation of the solar system. They drive or follow Jupiter in their orbit around the Sun, and can tell us about the origin of organic matter on Earth. Lucy will fly over and remote sensing on six different Trojan asteroids and study surface geology, surface color and composition, interior / bulk properties of asteroids, and examine satellites and Trojan rings. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Full mission coverage is as follows. Information is subject to change:

Wednesday October 13

1 p.m .: Lucy’s pre-launch press conference with the following participants:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
  • Hal Levison, Lucy Principal Investigator, Southwest Research Institute.
  • Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy Project Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
  • John Elbon, COO, United Launch Alliance.
  • Launch Weather Officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Delta 45 Space Launch, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
  • Omar Baez, Lucy Launch Director, NASA Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Thursday October 14

10 a.m .: NASA EDGE: Live Lucy Rollout Show.

13h00: Lucy’s scientific briefing with the following participants:

  • Adriana Ocampo, Lucy Program Manager, NASA Headquarters.
  • Cathy Olkin, Lucy Deputy Principal Investigator, Southwest Research Institute.
  • Keith Noll, Project Lucy Scientist, Goddard.
  • Hal Weaver, Principal Investigator for Lucy’s L’ORRI Instrument, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
  • Phil Christensen, Principal Investigator for Lucy’s L’TES, Arizona State University.
  • Dennis Reuter, Principal Investigator for Lucy’s L’Ralph instrument, Goddard.

3:00 p.m .: Lucy’s technical briefing with the following participants:

  • Joan Salute, Associate Director of Flight Programs, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters.
  • Jessica Lounsbury, Project System Engineer Lucy, Goddard.
  • Katie Oakman, Head of Lucy’s Structures and Mechanisms, Lockheed Martin Space.
  • Coralie Adam, Deputy Head of the Navigation Team, KinetX Aerospace.

Friday, October 15

3:30 p.m .: NASA Science Live with the following participants:

  • Carly Howett, Deputy Director of the Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute.
  • Wil Santiago, Deep Space Exploration Engineer, Lockheed Martin Space.
  • Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy Project Manager, Goddard.
  • Brittine Young, NASA Academy Mentor Lucy L’SPACE.
  • Wilbert Ruperto, NASA Academy Ambassador Lucy L’SPACE.

This episode will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed live on the agency’s website. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. Members of the public can participate live by submitting questions using #askNASA or posting a comment in the live video chat stream.

Lucy is the first mission to explore Jupiter’s Trojans – two swarms of asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbit, leading and following the giant sixty-degree planet. These primitive bodies would be the “fossils” of the formation of the planets, trapped by the gravity of Jupiter at the dawn of the solar system. Now, NASA is sending Lucy on a twisty twelve-year-old path to visit a main belt asteroid and seven Jupiter Trojans. Lucy will provide the first glimpse of these mysterious objects, helping scientists better understand the evolution of the solar system. Credit: Goddard Space Flight Center / NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA TV launch coverage

Live NASA TV coverage will begin at 5 a.m. on Saturday, October 16.

Only audio of press conferences and launch coverage will be shown on NASA’s “V” circuits, which can be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135 . On launch day, “mission audio,” of NASA TV’s non-launch commentary countdown activities, will air on 321-867-7135.

On launch day, a “clean stream” of the launch without commentary from NASA TV will air on the NASA TV media channel.

NASA website launch cover

Launch day coverage will be available on the agency’s website. Coverage will include live stream and blog updates starting no earlier than 5 a.m. on October 16, as countdown milestones occur. Streaming video on demand and photos of the launch will be available shortly after take-off. Follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at:

Public participation

The public can register to attend the launch virtually. NASA’s Virtual Guest Program for Lucy includes curated launch resources, a behind-the-scenes look at the mission, and the option to get a virtual guest launch passport stamp.

NASA Virtual Social Networks

As NASA finalizes preparations for the launch, the agency invites the public to join its virtual NASA Social network for the #LucyMission on Facebook. Stay up to date with the latest mission activities, interact with NASA team members in real time, and watch the launch.

Watch and engage on social media

Stay connected to the Mission on social media and let people know you are following her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #LucyMission – and tag the following accounts:

Twitter: @NASA, @NASASolarSystem, @NASASocial, @NASA_LSP, @ SLDelta45

Facebook: NASA, NASASolarSystem, NASA LSP, SLDelta45

Instagram: NASA

The launch of this mission is handled by the Kennedy-based NASA Launch Services Program, the United States’ first multi-user spaceport. Goddard provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and security and mission assurance. Lucy’s principal investigator is based in Boulder, Colorado, an affiliate of the Southwest Research Institute. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the discovery program for the agency’s Science Missions Directorate in Washington.

United Launch Alliance is the rocket supplier for Lucy’s launch. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft.

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