NASA will hold a virtual media briefing at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday, October 14th, to preview the engineering behind the agency’s first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. The Trojan asteroids are remnants of the early solar system clustered in two “swarms” leading and following Jupiter in its path around the Sun.
The live briefing will stream on NASA Television, the agency's website, NASA’s Twitter account and the NASA App. Lucy engineering briefing participants include: • Joan Salute, associate director for flight programs, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters. • Katie Oakman, Lucy structures and mechanisms lead, Lockheed Martin Space. • Jessica Lounsbury, Lucy project systems engineer, Goddard. • Coralie Adam, deputy navigation team chief, KinetX Aerospace.
Over its 12-year primary mission, Lucy will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids. The spacecraft will fly by one asteroid in the solar system’s main belt and seven Trojan asteroids. Lucy’s path will circle back to Earth three times for gravity assists, which will make it the first spacecraft ever to return to our planet’s vicinity from the outer solar system.
Lucy is scheduled to launch no earlier than Saturday, Oct. 16, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.
Lucy’s principal investigator is based out of the Boulder, Colorado, branch of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Discovery Program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The launch is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.