Set for launch Oct. 16 on a flight to explore asteroids in the outer solar system, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft has been fueled and encapsulated inside the payload fairing of its Atlas 5 rocket. Watch as Chris McCaa, a manager from spacecraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin, points out some of the features of the probe.
NASA has selected United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket to dispatch the Lucy spacecraft on a mission from Cape Canaveral in October 2021 to fly by seven unexplored asteroids, including six objects locked in orbits leading and trailing Jupiter, where scientists expect swarms of miniature worlds could hold clues about the formation of the solar system.
United Launch Alliance said Friday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have no impact on the company’s Atlas 5 rocket program, which has 25 missions left to fly with Russian-made main engines before retirement. The launch provider said it has all the Russian engines it needs before transitioning to a replacement rocket.