NASA’s 12-Year Mission to Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids Launches This Week – How to Watch It Live

October 16, 2021,

Established in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as for aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is “To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of mankind.”

“> NASAThe spacecraft Lucy will begin its journey to visit a record number of asteroids. The 12-year mission begins from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where it will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket. From there, Lucy will be the first spacecraft to visit a record number of destinations in independent orbits around the sun – one major belt asteroid and seven of

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and the fifth planet from the sun. It is a gas giant with a mass greater than all the other planets put together. Its name comes from the Roman god Jupiter.

“> JupiterTrojan Asteroids. As the namesake of the mission – the fossilized human ancestor, “Lucy”, whose skeleton gave a unique understanding of human evolution – Lucy will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system. Credit: NASA

NASA will provide coverage of upcoming space launch and launch activities for Lucy, the agency’s first mission to investigate Jupiter’s Troy asteroids.

Lucy is due to launch no earlier than 5:34 am EDT on Saturday, October 16, on a Atlas V 401 rocket from United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Cosmic Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida.

Live launch coverage will begin at the 5th hour EDT on NASA Television, the NASA program and the agency’s website. NASA will hold pre-launch information on Wednesday, October 13, and scientific and engineering information on October 14.

During her 12-year main mission, Lucy will explore a record number of asteroids. The spacecraft will fly with one asteroid in the main belt of the solar system and seven Trojan asteroids. Lucy’s path will circle the Earth three times for gravitational aid, making it the first spacecraft ever to return to the vicinity of our planet from the outer solar system.

Lucy will be the first space mission to explore the Trojan asteroids. These are a population of small bodies that remain from the formation of the solar system. They lead or follow Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun, and may tell us about the origins of organic materials on Earth. Lucy will fly by and do distance probing on six different Trojan asteroids and study surface geology, surface color and composition, asteroid interiors / large features, and look at the Trojans’ satellites and rings. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Full mission coverage is as follows. Information can be changed:

Wednesday the 13th of October

13:00: Lucy prelaunch press conference with the following participants:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator, NASA’s Scientific Mission Board 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, general manager, United Launch Alliance.
  • Launch Weather Officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Space Launch Delta 45, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
  • Omar Baez, Lucy Launch Director, NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Thursday, October 14th

10 am: NASA EDGE: Viva Lucy Rollout Show.

13:00: Lucy’s scientific briefing with the following participants:

  • Adriana Ocampo, head of the Lucy program, NASA headquarters.
  • Cathy Olkin, deputy chief researcher of Lucy, Southwest Research Institute.
  • Keith Noll, science project by Lucy, Goddard.
  • Hal Weaver, principal investigator for Lucy’s L’LORRI instrument, Johns Hopkins Laboratory of Applied Physics.
  • Phil Christensen, principal investigator for Lucy’s L’TES instrument, Arizona State University.
  • Dennis Reuter, lead investigator for Lucy’s instrument L’Ralph, Goddard.

15:00: Lucy Engineering Information Meeting with the following participants:

  • Joan Salute, associate director for flight programs, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters.
  • Jessica Lounsbury, Lucy project systems engineer, Goddard.
  • Katie Oakman, Lucy structures and mechanisms guide, Lockheed Martin Space.
  • Coralie Adam, deputy chief of navigation team, KinetX Aerospace.

Friday, October 15th

15:30: 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, mentor for NASA academy Lucy L’SPACE.
  • Wilbert Ruperto, ambassador for the NASA academy Lucy L’SPACE.

This episode will air on NASA Television and air on the agency Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. Members of the public can participate live by posting questions via #askNASA or by posting a comment in the live chat stream.

Lucy is the first mission to explore the Jupiter Trojans – two swarms of asteroids that divide Jupiter’s orbit, guiding and following the giant planet at sixty degrees. These primitive bodies are thought to be the “fossils” of planet formation, captured by Jupiter’s gravity at the twilight of the solar system. Now, NASA is sending Lucy on a winding, twelve-year journey to visit one main belt asteroid and seven Jupiter Trojans. Lucy will give the first detailed look at these mysterious objects, helping scientists better understand the evolution of the solar system. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA TV Launch Coverage

Live coverage of NASA TV will begin at 5 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. For information, schedules and links to a live NASA TV video, visit:

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be featured on the NASA “V” circuits, which can be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. The launch day, “mission sound,” countdown activities without launch commentary from NASA Television, will take place on 321-867-7135.

On launch day, a “clean stream” of the launch without comment from NASA TV will be carried on NASA TV’s media channel.

NASA’s Web Launch Coverage

Launch day coverage will be available on the agency’s website. Coverage will include livestreaming and blog updates starting no earlier than 5 a.m. on Oct. 16, as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video and photos of the launch will be available shortly after departure. Follow a countdown on our launch blog at:

Public Participation

Members of the public can register to attend the launch virtually. NASA’s virtual guest program for Lucy includes a healing launch resource, a behind-the-scenes look at the mission, and the opportunity for a virtual guest to launch a passport stamp.

Virtual NASA-Social

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

Watch and Participate in Social Media

Stay connected with the mission on social media, and let people know you’re following it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with 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 managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy, the main U.S. spacecraft. Goddard provides general mission management, systems engineering, and security and mission assurance. Lucy’s lead investigator is based out of the Boulder, Colorado, branch of Southwest Research Institute. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the agency’s Discovery Program for the agency’s Science Mission Board in Washington.

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