How to watch NASA’s asteroid explorer Lucy launch this week

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This week, NASA will launch its latest explorer: Lucy, a spacecraft that will travel to asteroids near Jupiter to learn about the formation of the solar system. Lucy will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida early this morning on Saturday, October 16, and we’ve got details on how you can watch the launch live. Huh. .

what will lucy be looking for

Artist's illustration of the Lucy concept.
Artist’s illustration of the Lucy concept. Southwest Research Institute
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Lucy is heading into the Solar System to visit the Trojans, a group of asteroids orbiting Jupiter. These are believed to be left over from the formation of the outer planets from a period of 4 billion years ago.

“During her 12-year primary mission, Lucy will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids,” NASA writing. “The spacecraft will fly by one asteroid and seven Trojan asteroids in the main belt of the Solar System. Lucy’s path to gravity assist will circle Earth three times, making it the first spacecraft to return from the outer solar system to the vicinity of our planet.


To learn more about Lucy’s goals, we spoke to the mission’s principal investigator, Hal Levison, about how it may uncover the secrets of the solar system’s formation.

How to watch launch

NASA will be livestreaming Lucy’s launch, as well as a variety of pre-launch activities such as preparing for liftoff and commentary from experts. You can either watch online using the video embedded at the top of this page or by visiting NASA website.

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Coverage of the launch will begin Saturday, October 16 at 5 a.m. ET (2 p.m. PT). The launch itself is scheduled for 5:34 a.m. ET (2:34 a.m. PT).

If you want to know more about the mission, there is a two-day briefing and information that will be shown ahead of launch. On Thursday, October 14, a science briefing with researchers working with Lucy data at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) will be followed by a live Lucy rollout show at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT), followed by spacecraft An engineering briefing at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) with the engineers who built the building.

You can hear about the mission from NASA scientists at a briefing scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT) on Friday, October 15.

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