Lucy, NASA’s first mission to explore the Jupiter Trojan asteroids, is scheduled to launch no earlier than 5:34 a.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 16, on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Live launch coverage will begin at 5 a.m. EDT.
Over its 12-year primary mission, Lucy will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids. The spacecraft will fly by one asteroid in the solar system’s main belt and seven Trojan asteroids. Lucy’s path will circle back to Earth three times for gravity assists, which will make it the first spacecraft ever to return to our planet’s vicinity from the outer solar system.
The launch of this mission is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy, America’s premier multi-user spaceport. Goddard provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance. Lucy’s principal 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 Discovery Program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
United Launch Alliance is the rocket provider for Lucy’s launch. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft.