NASA, United Launch Alliance Managers Complete Flight Readiness Review for Lucy Mission

By  //  October 10, 2021

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launch readiness scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13

The payload fairing containing NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is hoisted up at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Oct. 7, 2021. (NASA Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) managers completed the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) this morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the agency’s Lucy mission.

The FRR focuses on the preparedness of NASA, ULA, and the Lucy team to support the flight and the certification of flight readiness.

The final step is the Launch Readiness Review, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Encapsulated in its payload fairing, the Lucy spacecraft made the trek from the Astrotech Space Operations Facility in Titusville to Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The fairing was lifted high into the Vertical Integration Facility and then lowered and secured onto the Atlas V Centaur second stage early Thursday morning, Oct. 7.

Lucy is scheduled to launch no earlier than 5:34 a.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 16, on a ULA Atlas V 401 rocket from SLC-41. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center, America’s premier multi-user spaceport, is managing the launch.

During it’s 12-year primary mission, Lucy will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids, flying by one asteroid in the solar system’s main belt and seven Trojan asteroids. Additionally, Lucy’s path will circle back to Earth three times for gravity assists, making it the first spacecraft ever to return to the vicinity of Earth from the outer solar system.

Lucy’s principal investigator is based out of the Boulder, Colorado, branch of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), which is headquartered in San Antonio. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering, plus 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, D.C.