NASA is preparing to launch a new science spacecraft on Saturday (October 16) to study asteroids near Jupiter, and you can watch mission coverage live all week.
Lucy – which will study the Trojan asteroids, or the asteroids which share the orbit of the giant planet – will fly in space from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. With take-off targeted at 5:34 a.m. EDT (9:34 a.m. GMT), live coverage of the launch will begin at 5:00 a.m. EDT (9:00 a.m. GMT) on NASA Television, the NASA app, and social media channels. NASA and here on Space.com.
NASA will also organize several virtual public events as well as scientific and technical briefings before and after the launch; all briefings will be broadcast live on NASA TV and social media channels. Some information sessions will allow public questions; more details below. All times are approximate and may change due to launch events.
NASA says the public can Register now attend the launch virtually for access to curated launch resources, a behind-the-scenes look at Lucy’s, and the chance to win a virtual guest launch passport stamp. You can also attend the virtual NASA Social for the #LucyMission on Facebook, which partly allows you to chat in real time with members of the NASA team.
“During her 12-year main mission, Lucy will explore a record number of asteroids,” NASA said said in a press release. “The spacecraft will pass an asteroid in the Solar System’s Main Belt and seven Trojan asteroids. Lucy’s path will circle the Earth three times for gravity aids, making her the first spacecraft. space to return close to our planet from outside the solar system. “
Here are more details on the launch briefings and coverage, all of which will also be available to watch on Space.com courtesy of NASA.
Wednesday October 13
1:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. GMT): Lucy pre-launch press conference with the following attendees:
- Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator, NASA Scientific Missions Directorate.
- Hal Levison, Lucy Principal Investigator, Southwest Research Institute.
- Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy Project Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
- John Elbon, COO, United Launch Alliance.
- To be appointed 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.
Members of the public can also ask questions online using #LucyMission on social media.
Thursday October 14
10:00 a.m. EDT (2:00 p.m. GMT): Live deployment broadcast from NASA Television’s Lucy, following the mission as she walks to the launch pad.
1:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. GMT): Lucy’s Science 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, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
- Hal Weaver, Principal Investigator for Lucy’s L’ORRI Instrument, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
- Phil Christensen, Principal Investigator for Lucyâs L’TES, Arizona State University.
- Dennis Reuter, Principal Investigator for Lucy’s L’Ralph instrument, Goddard.
3:00 p.m. EDT (7:00 p.m. GMT): Lucy’s technical briefing with the following participants:
- Joan Salute, Associate Director of Flight Programs, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters.
- Jessica Lounsbury, Project Lucy Systems Engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
- Katie Oakman, Head of Lucy’s Structures and Mechanisms, Lockheed Martin Space.
- Coralie Adam, Deputy Head of the Navigation Team, KinetX Aerospace.
Members of the public can also ask questions using #LucyMission on social media.
Friday October 15th
3:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. GMT): NASA Science Live with the following attendees:
- 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.
Members of the public can submit questions using #askNASA or by posting a comment in the live video chat stream.
Saturday October 16
5 a.m. EDT (9 a.m. GMT): Coverage of Lucy’s launch; early launch scheduled for 5:34 a.m. EDT