On October 16, 2021, our Lucy spacecraft will begin its journey to visit a record-breaking number of asteroids. The 12-year mission starts from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center where it’ll launch aboard 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 main belt asteroid and seven of Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids.
Like the mission’s namesake – the fossilized human ancestor, “Lucy,” whose skeleton provided unique insight into humanity’s evolution – Lucy will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system. Lucy’s first launch attempt in its 21-day launch window is scheduled for 5:34 a.m. EDT on October 16.
Video credit: NASA