THIS WEEK @NASA: Launching First Mission to Trojan Asteroids, Rocket Hardware Added to Artemis I Stack

By  //  October 17, 2021

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

latest happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: The first mission to the Trojan asteroids, a prelaunch milestone for our Artemis I mission, and highlighting a few of our NASA centers … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Launching the First Mission to the Trojan Asteroids

“We have engine ignition. Release. Engine at full thrust.”—Launch Commentator

On Oct. 16, we launched our Lucy spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, in Florida. Lucy is the first space mission to the Trojan asteroids, a diverse population of small bodies believed to be remnants of our early solar system, that are trapped in a stable orbit with Jupiter. The mission could help revolutionize what we know about the origins and formation of our solar system and its planets. Learn more about the mission at:

Final Piece of Rocket Hardware Added to Artemis I Stack

Teams working inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at our Kennedy Space Center added the Orion spacecraft’s stage adapter to the top of the Space Launch System or SLS rocket for our upcoming Artemis I mission.

They will add Orion and its launch abort system on top of the stage adapter to complete the Artemis I stack. Artemis I will be the first flight test around the Moon of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system.

NASA Leadership Visits California Centers

Our Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy recently visited NASA centers in California. They toured our Ames Research Center on Oct. 12 to hear about climate-related research – including wildfire prevention and reduction of emissions with the use of air traffic management tools. The next day at our Armstrong Flight Research Center they participated in activities to celebrate the center’s 75th anniversary – including the opening of a 25-year-old time capsule. Finally, on Oct. 14, they stopped by our Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a climate summit with elected officials. While there, they also were updated on plans for our Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter on Mars.

Webb Space Telescope Arrives in French Guiana

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope successfully arrived in French Guiana on Oct. 12, after a 16-day journey at sea. After Webb is driven to its launch site in Kourou, it will be prepped for its targeted Dec. 18 launch. From its vantage point in space, about one million miles from Earth, the world’s largest and most complex space science observatory is expected to capture images of the early universe that will transform our understanding of our place in the cosmos. Learn more about the mission at

Von Braun Memorial Symposium

Officials from NASA and other industry leaders gathered in Huntsville, Alabama Oct. 12-14 for the 14th annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. This year’s theme was, “United: A Foundation Delivered, The Future Enabled.” The event featured discussion about the space science and exploration progress made to date, as well as the plans and goals for future space endeavors.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA