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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Nw: The rocket dash for NASA's ambitious Lucy asteroid mission rolls out to launch pad

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s latest asteroid probe, named Lucy, rolled out of to the launch pad on the unusual time (Oct. 14) sooner than its deliberate Saturday morning liftoff.

Correct after 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT), the Atlas V rocket constructed by the United Open Alliance (ULA) began its 1,800-foot (550 meters) dash from its vertical integration facility, the establish it became once stacked, to the launch pad at Feature Open Advanced 41. The rollout took approximately an hour, and left the 188-foot-tall (57.3 m) rocket perched atop its pad till launch day. Constructed by Lockheed Martin, the 3,300-pound (1,500 kilograms) Lucy spacecraft is scheme for launch on Saturday (Oct. 16), which is the first different in a deliberate 23-day launch period that can kick off the spacecraft’s 12-year chase by diagram of the picture voltaic machine.

Lucy will waft by a total of eight different asteroids (seven Trojans, that are located sooner than and in the support of
Jupiter
in its orbit, and one predominant belt) in suppose to support scientists larger know how the picture voltaic machine developed. Researchers teach that the Trojans are perfectly preserved cosmic time capsules and hope that finding out them could well shed more gentle on how the tall planets formed.

Linked: NASA’s brave Lucy asteroid mission is ready to launch On launch day, Lucy will devour a 75-minute launch window that opens at 5:34 am EDT (0934 GMT). This will dash to situation atop one in every of ULA’s most usual Atlas V rockets, the 401, which relies on a single-engine Centaur larger stage and doesn’t use solid rocket boosters. Lucy’s rocket became once in the origin intended to ferry Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule on an uncrewed check flight to the Global Feature Station, but after teams realized a valve instruct in the capsule’s propulsion machine, teams had been compelled to ship the craft support to the manufacturing facility to troubleshoot the instruct; that flight is now expected to launch in 2022. So the rocket became once reassigned to Lucy. In suppose to spice up that mission, teams at ULA needed to engage the rocket’s dual-engine Centaur larger stage as well to the strap-on solid rocket boosters that had been designed to propel the Starliner capsule into the situation. A special Centaur larger stage with a single RL10 engine became once assigned in on the rocket’s first stage sooner than the spacecraft’s integration.

“It became once unlucky that OFT-2 had its malfunctioning valve concerns diagram behind in the recreation,” Omar Baez, launch director for Lucy at NASA’s Open Companies and products Program at Kennedy Feature Heart stated at some level of a prelaunch recordsdata convention on Sept . 28. “And happily, we had been ready to engage lemons and procure lemonade out of it.”

This mission will designate the 89th launch of an Atlas V rocket and the 100th mission to waft from ULA’s pad (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Feature Pressure Station.Currently, weather officers on the 45th Feature Delta predict a 90% probability of favorable conditions for launch, with the ideal reason for instructing being the aptitude for cumulus clouds Follow Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap.Follow us on Twitter @ Spacedotcom

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