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NASA Invites Media to Launch of Lucy Mission to Study Trojan Asteroids

illustration of Lucy spacecraft
This illustration shows the Lucy spacecraft passing one of the Trojan Asteroids near Jupiter. Credits: Southwest Research Institute

Media accreditation is open for the upcoming launch of NASA’s Lucy mission, which will send the first spacecraft to study the Trojan asteroids. These small bodies are remnants of our early solar system trapped in stable orbits, clustered in two “swarms” leading and following Jupiter in its path around the Sun.

Lucy is scheduled to launch no earlier than Saturday, Oct. 16, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

U.S. and U.S.-based international media, as described in NASA’s agencywide media accreditation policy, must apply by 12 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 30. All media accreditation requests must be submitted online with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at:

COVID-19 protocols at Kennedy

Consistent with guidelines issued by the White House Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, all visitors to NASA facilities are required to complete a Certification of Vaccination form and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the previous 72 hours before they will be issued a badge and permitted on center property. 

The Certification of Vaccination form will be available at the Kennedy badging office and the center’s pass and identification locations.

Visitors must carry their certification form and COVID-19 test record with them at all times during their visit to Kennedy.

Everyone on center property must wear a mask when indoors, to include those who are fully vaccinated. In addition to wearing a mask indoors, those who are not fully vaccinated or decline to provide their vaccination status on the certification form also must wear a mask when outdoors and physically distance from others in and out of doors while on center.

The agency also will continue to follow guidance from local officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and NASA’s chief health and medical officer. NASA will communicate any updates that may impact mission planning or media access as they become available.

More about Lucy

Over its 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.

The Lucy mission is named after the fossilized skeleton of an early hominin (pre-human ancestor) discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 and named “Lucy” by the team of paleoanthropologists who discovered it. Just as the Lucy fossil provided unique insights into humanity’s evolution, the Lucy mission promises to revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system, including Earth.

For more information about Lucy, visit:

Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo 321-501-8425.


Alana Johnson
Headquarters, Washington

Nancy Neal Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Mary MacLaughlin
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.