Tuesday, November 30

NASA’s Lucy blasts off on historic mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

The asteroids are 4.6-billion-year-old relics from the solar system’s earliest days.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket flared to life under the cover of dark at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida just after 2:30 a.m. local time Saturday morning. Encased within the pencil-shaped payload fairing atop the rocket was NASA’s latest interplanetary explorer: a spacecraft named Lucy.

It was the 100th launch from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 41. Approximately 58 minutes after launch the probe, which is about as wide as a bus, was released from the second stage rocket booster to begin its long journey toward Jupiter’s orbit. The United Launch Alliance team celebrated with hugs and clapping in its mission control room. 

“It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life,” Hal Levison, principal investigator of the Lucy mission, said post-launch. “It was truly awesome, in the old-fashioned meaning of the word.”   

Full Article cnet.com
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