Watch live as NASA prepares to launch Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

NASA’s Lucy mission to explore asteroids in Jupiter’s orbit will launch on Saturday (Oct. 16). These asteroids, called the Trojans, are nearly untouched “fossils” from the early days of the solar system, and scientists have never been able to see them up close. Read more about the mission here.

On Thursday (Oct. 14), NASA will hold two briefings about the mission. At 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), tune in to learn about the science Lucy will tackle during its mission; at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), engineers will explain how the mission works.

On Friday (Oct. 15) at 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT), NASA will also hold a Science Live about the mission.

Then, come back on Saturday (Oct. 16) to watch coverage of Lucy’s launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base. Blast-off is scheduled for 5:34 a.m. EDT (0934 GMT), with a launch window about 75 minutes long. Live coverage will begin at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT).

You can watch all three segments in the window above, courtesy of NASA, or directly through the agency’s website.

From NASA:

NASA will provide coverage of upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for Lucy, the agency’s first mission to explore the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. 

Lucy is scheduled to launch no earlier than 5:34 a.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 16, on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Live launch coverage will begin at 5 a.m. EDT on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. NASA will hold a prelaunch briefing Wednesday, Oct. 13, and science and engineering briefings Oct. 14.

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.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all media participation in news conferences will be remote dial-in only. A phone bridge will be provided for each briefing.

Full mission coverage is as follows. Information is subject to change:

Thursday, Oct. 14

1 p.m.: Lucy science briefing with the following participants:

  • Adriana Ocampo, Lucy program executive, NASA Headquarters.
  • Cathy Olkin, Lucy deputy principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute.
  • Keith Noll, Lucy project scientist, Goddard.
  • Hal Weaver, principal investigator for Lucy’s L’LORRI instrument, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
  • Phil Christensen, principal investigator for Lucy’s L’TES instrument, Arizona State University.
  • Dennis Reuter, principal investigator for Lucy’s L’Ralph instrument, Goddard.

3 p.m.: Lucy engineering briefing with the following participants:

  • Joan Salute, associate director for flight programs, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters.
  • Jessica Lounsbury, Lucy project systems engineer, Goddard.
  • Katie Oakman, Lucy structures and mechanisms lead, Lockheed Martin Space.
  • Coralie Adam, deputy navigation team chief, KinetX Aerospace.

Friday, Oct. 15

3:30 p.m.: NASA Science Live with the following participants:

  • Carly Howett, assistant director of the Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute.
  • Wil Santiago, deep space exploration engineer, Lockheed Martin Space.
  • Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy project manager, Goddard.
  • Brittine Young, mentor for the NASA Lucy L’SPACE academy.
  • Wilbert Ruperto, ambassador for the NASA Lucy L’SPACE academy.

NASA TV Launch Coverage

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 5 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16.

China’s Shenzhou 13 launch to Tiangong space station

China will launch its second mission to the foundation module of its new Tiangong space station on Friday (Oct. 15) and you can watch it live here. Liftoff is set for 12:23 p.m. EDT (1623 GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. A live webcast from the state-run China Central Television network is expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT)

A Chinese Long March 2F rocket will launch three astronauts to Tiangong’s Tianhe module for a six-month mission, the longest spaceflight by China to date. The mission, called Shenzhou 13, will be commanded by Zhai Zhigang. Wang Yaping, China’s first-ever female astronaut, and Ye Guangfu round out the crew. Wang will be the first woman to fly to the new space station.

The Shenzhou 13 crew will spend a half-year working and living inside the Tianhe module to test technologies construction methods for the addition of future modules. Two more modules are due to launch to Tianhe in 2022. Up to three spacewalks are planned for the mission. 


‘ISS Live!’ Tune in to the space station

Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the “ISS Live” broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.

From NASA:

“Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During ‘loss of signal’ periods, viewers will see a blue screen.

“Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.” 

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Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity’s ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Kim Hickock as our Reference Editor and Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor. 

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