Lucy—Visiting Eight Asteroids with One Spacecraft

NASA's Lucy mission is scheduled to launch on Saturday, 2021-10-16 at 09:34 UTC. Its planned twelve-year mission will use multiple Earth gravity assists to fling it on a path through both the leading and trailing Trojan regions of Jupiter, where it will encounter seven asteroids, including some believed to date from early in the formation of the solar system. Lucy will also fly by a small main belt asteroid on its outbound trajectory. Here is a live Webcast of the launch.

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After a successful launch, Lucy has separated from the Centaur upper stage, unfurled the large solar arrays, and established communications with the ground. She’s on her (circuitous) way to the Trojan asteroids.

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Here is Lucy’s trajectory in the rotating reference frame of Jupiter’s orbit. (This is a large [14 Mb] animated GIF which cannot be imported into Discourse, so I’m linking to it.)

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