Date, time, and how to watch the launch

No phrase on any diamonds, nevertheless there shall be a Lucy throughout the sky this weekend.

On Saturday NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will launch from Space Launch Superior 41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It’s the beginning of a 12-year mission which will see the probe go to historic asteroids and fly between Jupiter and Earth plenty of events.

The Lucy mission shouldn’t be going to solely try new and unusual flight paths for a NASA planetary science mission, nevertheless it might moreover current new clues to how the toddler Solar System formed — and eventually led to life on Earth. Lucy will soar by seven Trojan asteroids and one important belt asteroid.

In essence, it’s a journey in direction of primordial space — and a voyage no spacecraft has tried sooner than. Chances are you’ll actually really feel a part of it by watching its launch on Saturday.

When to look at the Lucy mission launch

Lucy is scheduled to launch as early as 5:34 a.m. Japanese on Saturday, October 16.

An illustration of the Lucy spacecraft. NASA

Saturday is technically the start of its 23-day launch window. Every morning all through this period there shall be a 1-hour various for launch.

Simple strategies to observe the Lucy mission launch

Keep safety of the Lucy launch will begin at 5 a.m. Japanese on NASA TV and the world firm’s web page at

For many who dwell in Florida near the launch video, you may additionally publish up at one in every of many launch viewing areas spherical Cape Canaveral.

What are the Trojan asteroids?

The Trojan asteroids are two populations of 1000’s of space rocks that share an orbit with Jupiter, one group fundamental the gasoline giant throughout the L4 Prolonged-range stage and the other trailing Jupiter throughout the L5 Lagrangian stage.

Lagrangian components are coordinates in space the place the gravitational pull of the Photo voltaic and a planet, on this case, Jupiter, stability out so that objects orbiting at these components maintain the similar place relative to Jupiter as all of them swing throughout the photo voltaic.

An artists rendering of the Trojan Asteroids near Jupiter. NASA

First present in 1906, the astronomers have now acknowledged larger than 4,800 Jupiter Trojan asteroids.

The time interval “Trojan” stems from the preliminary dedication to name the L4 asteroids after the Greek troopers in The Illiad and L5 asteroids after the Trojan warriors throughout the epic poem regarding the historic Trojan Battle. Trojan obtained right here to seek the advice of with any asteroid that shares an orbit with a planet, as an illustration, the Neptunian Trojans present in 2006.

Nonetheless, currently the Worldwide Astronomical Union realized there have been further Trojan asteroids than names in The Illiad. This spurred the decision to name smaller Trojan asteroids after Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The Trojan asteroid Queta — present in 2020 and named for Mexican observe and topic athlete Norma Enriqueta “Queta” Basilio Sotelo — was the first to be named beneath this convention.

Why is the goal of the Lucy mission?

The Jupiter Trojans are believed to this point to the very earliest days of the Photograph voltaic System, fossilized remnants from larger than 4 billion years up to now. Lucy attracts its title from Lucy, the fossilized Australopithecus afarensis — and human ancestor — present in 1974 (Lucy the skeleton was named after the Beatles tune, “Lucy throughout the sky with diamonds”).

The first half of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) payload fairing is moved in direction of the Lucy spacecraft.NASA

Lucy the spacecraft can be the primary mission to go to those time capsules, visiting seven Trojans and one important asteroid belt asteroid on one of the simplest ways.

It ought to moreover fly in a singular orbit, making plenty of gravity assist passes by Earth to go to every clusters of Jupiter Trojans, making Lucy the first spacecraft to ever fly that faraway from Earth after which return to the inner picture voltaic system.

Over the course of its 12-year mission, Lucy might help scientists larger understand the origins of our Photograph voltaic System and the tactic of planetary formation in several picture voltaic strategies.

Who constructed the Lucy Spacecraft?

Lucy is lifted by a crane on the Astrotech Space Operations Facility in Titusville, Florida in August 2021. NASA

Aerospace agency and safety contract Lockheed-Martin designed and constructed Lucy for NASA.

What rocket will Lucy launch on?

Lucy will launch atop an Atlas 401 V rocket.

This United Launch Alliance automobile can produce larger than 860,000 kilos of thrust at liftoff and should use as a lot as 5 sturdy rocks boosters together with a liquid-fueled core booster. The upper stage is powered by one or two centaur rocket engines with 4-or-5 meter payload fairings.

The 401 designation refers to which obtainable launch configuration is in use. Inside the case of the Lucy launch, the Atlas V will use a 4-meter fairing to accommodate Lucy, zero sturdy rocket boosters, and one centaur engine for its larger stage.

Subsequent: Read this to learn more about the Lucy mission goals. | Date, time, and recommendations on tips on how to watch the launch

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