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United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Exploration Mission for NASA

Lucy Launch Blog
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Two launches from two coasts within three weeks in partnership with NASA LSP

Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., (Oct. 16, 2021) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Lucy mission for NASA lifted off on Oct. 16 at 5:34 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. To date ULA has launched 146 times with 100 percent mission success.

“We are honored to partner with NASA to launch this one-of-a-kind mission and are proud to add the Lucy mission to the Trojan Asteroids to our list of exploration launch successes,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. “We are very proud to launch this spacecraft on its historic 12-year journey to eight different asteroids, and thank our mission partners for their teamwork.”

The Atlas V delivered the Lucy spacecraft into an interplanetary trajectory. The mission launched on an Atlas V 401 configuration rocket that included a 14-ft (4-m) large payload fairing (LPF). The Atlas booster was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine. Aerojet Rocketdyne provided the RL10C-1 engine for the Centaur upper stage.

This was the 89th launch of an Atlas V rocket and 21st mission launched on an Atlas V in partnership with NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP), following the launch of Landsat 9 from Vandenberg Space Force Base last month. ULA’s next launch is STP-3 for the U.S. Space Force, planned for Nov. 22, 2021, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 145 missions to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, deliver cutting-edge commercial services and enable GPS navigation. For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).

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Photos available on the ULA Flickr page.