December 1, 2022

NASA’s record-breaking Lucy asteroid mission gearing up for October launch

NASAs Lucy asteroid probe is set to start its 12-year space odyssey next month.Lucy is set up to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Floridas Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Oct. 16. In April 2025, Lucy will perform its very first asteroid flyby, an encounter with a rock in the asteroid belt called (52246) Donaldjohanson.The Lucy team called that asteroid after paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson, the co-discoverer of the famous “Lucy” fossil– the bones of a 3.2-million-year-old woman of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis.” So the encounters occur quickly, with the really best data being gathered in simply a few hours near the closest method,” Noll said.Those data, gathered by a number of various cameras and spectrometers, will teach the mission group about the composition, structure and activity of the area rock targets.NASAs total financing dedication to Lucy is $981.1 million, Lori Glaze, head of the agencys Planetary Science Division, said during Tuesdays news conference. The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Centaur stage for NASAs Lucy mission is raised by crane into the Vertical Integration Facility near Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett) Getting ready for liftoffFor the past 8 weeks, the Lucy team has been prepping the spacecraft for flight at NASAs Kennedy Space Center, which is next door to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

NASAs Lucy asteroid probe is set to start its 12-year space odyssey next month.Lucy is set up to release atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Floridas Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Oct. 16. In April 2025, Lucy will perform its first asteroid flyby, an encounter with a rock in the asteroid belt called (52246) Donaldjohanson.The Lucy group called that asteroid after paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson, the co-discoverer of the well-known “Lucy” fossil– the bones of a 3.2-million-year-old woman of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis. The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Centaur stage for NASAs Lucy mission is lifted by crane into the Vertical Integration Facility near Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

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