How NASA’s Lucy Mission Will Visit More Asteroids Than Any Other Spacecraft.

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The Lucy Mission is days away from launching its spacecraft on a 12 year mission which will carry it out to Jupiter’s orbit and back twice. This enables it to visit both swarms of Trojan asteroids, a cloud of asteroids which have been trapped by Jupiter’s gravity since the early days of the solar system. During this flight it will be able to fly by 6 targets, one of which has a moon and another is a large binary asteroid – making for a total of 8 asteroids with one spacecraft.

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  1. Ronald Lebeck

    Hey, Scott, what are those four towers around the launch pad? That might be something to cover in a video.

  2. Those1guys

    I’ll be close to my 30’s by the time this mission is done

  3. Aslak Vind

    Huge gratitudefor the exellent explanations, so laymen like myself can understand and be enthusiastic!

  4. Philip Grote

    How much could the mission be accelerated if a larger propellant load were made feasible by launching via starship?

  5. David Price

    With the recent new findings in quantum physics and now the further exploration of space, I can’t help but feel that we are living at a time of man on the edge of major new discoveries.
    I bet I’m not alone.

  6. Lemon Lady

    Lucy is in the sky!! Amazing launch, gorgeous night view like sunrise when the Atlas was coming out of a low cloud layer. Must see! She is separated, solar panels unfolded, they have AOS, and she’s in her solar orbit at 40,000 km/h, to reach a top speed of 644,000 km/h after the gravity assists (she never needs to slow down). See you in a year, Lucy, and thanks for the iconic launch!

  7. MGCooley

    This is an absolutely fascinating mission that I knew nothing about. Much props to the spreadsheet Jedi like Brian Sutter who ran the numbers to figure out that path. Thanks for the news on this, please keep us updated.

  8. sunkid86

    These closing lines need to be given some award already!

  9. Logan Brown

    Heck yeah!!! I was a part of the 2020 NASA L’SPACE Program with the Lucy Program!! Even got to meet Hal Levison (albeit virtually). Awesome experience. All alumni of the program were invited to the launch, however I wasn’t able to make it. :(

  10. Jude Evans

    you gotta love the people who names these missions Lucy in the Sky with Diamond, love it👏

  11. Jacob Stanton

    Really liked the technical breakdown of the spacecrafts scientific equipment. Excellent work!

  12. Dragan Jobb

    First time I watch one of your vids and I’m awed at the clearness and perfect composition and narration. You’re great!

  13. passdasalt

    That has to be the longest, most complex setup to a punchline I’ve ever heard!


    I’m just hyped over the upcoming launch of James Webb. China seems to be doing great things with their space program also as well as India.

  15. Hunter Sheldon

    This was one of the best episodes I’ve watched, and I watch them all. Way to go Scott! Keep em coming :)

  16. Jeremy Klein

    So Lucy is taking Ralph and Lori over to see Don. Sounds like a good time!

  17. Casey Ford

    If each miner drone has multiple mini bots for repairs, the miner drones can keep working longer and be transported somewhere if they need repairs only somewhere else.

  18. T-diddy

    “alright, i called this meeting to confirm they are giant floating rocks” Kidding kidding.. this is awesome.

  19. Alexander I

    This is very exciting, I can’t believe I will be in my late 20s when this mission is finished

  20. pete someguy

    Love the animation aids for the gravity assist :) Love your very informative content. Keep up the great hard work :) ty.

  21. DMart

    Scott this video is incredible, some history, some technical rocket details, some spectroscopy details, some orbital mechanics. Amazing. I will probably be watching this a few more times to soak it all in!

  22. SuperChangcho

    Great and very informative video thanks! Glad you mentioned Hal Levison’s (and Martin Duncan’s) integrator Swift, which I still occasionally use.

  23. Wayne The Seine

    Great explanation Scott. Thank you!

  24. Joffrey Heyraud

    I think what is really incredible is how good Scott is at telling these stories.

  25. ben lynch

    Great video mr Manley. This makes kerbal seem like a mere game

  26. Szymon Starzycki

    I bet there is an interesting story on how these missions get planned in particular how do they decide what devices / experiments would be tested by such a mission and which mission to prioritize. Do you have the details on that?

  27. Evan Fusco

    I assume these fly-bys aren’t all in a flat plane as per the diagram, how/when are the planar adjustments made? Is there a good 3d diagram of this?

  28. jane doe

    An absolutely amazing mission! Hopefully all is fine with it and it returns scientific data.

  29. Jeffrey Bue

    And we (my generation), back in the day, thought that “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was a veiled reference to LSD. Well played Mr. Manley.


    On this episode of Space Gear: May starts his own space launch company, Hammond installs an inertial guidance system backwards, And Clarkson speeds and powers his way into orbit!

  31. Rocket man

    Awesome insight to the mission. Thanks Scott

  32. ethzero

    NASA launches diamond satellite,
    Blofeld: “You guys saved me the effort”

  33. Albert Henriette

    “Lucy mission”. WOW! powerful metaphor. Great honor.

  34. Iain

    Amazing video, fascinating, look forward to updates on this mission.

  35. J K

    Thanks for making this. The solar panels look a bit different than the “standard”and you touched on that in the video. Do you have any more info who made those and how much power they are capable of producing?

  36. Tenkaykev

    Having watched the Moon landings as a young boy, I’ve watched the progress and occasional setback of space exploration with fascination. Scott discussing the length of the Lucy mission made me think drat! now I need to live to over 100 to see it come to fruition 🤞

  37. youtubeus ername1

    Just finished the Expanse S5 two days ago. Seeing this video and thinking how they moved around in the space in the Expanse, it is something.

  38. Brandon Hamilton

    Pumped for this. I wish we could move these little probes faster…. Looking at you Elon……

  39. Zach Crawford

    This reminds me of the expedition of the solar system that the voyager probes did in the 1970s-now just with asteroids this time. Whoever first worked out the math for this mission’s route and figured out it was feasible is awesome.

  40. Alexander Sannikov

    Did you render the spacecraft yourself in blender, Scott? That looks awesome!

    PS if not, can you please leave a reference where you get those graphics from?

  41. Anzac-A1

    1:50 I love the flexible solar panels. Very clever design.

  42. Aesthics

    I wish I had a job title as cool as Brian Sutter’s

  43. Regolith

    Excellent video (as usual), especially the bit at the end about “Lucy in the sky with *A* diamond”. Minor correction: Lucy wasn’t human. She was a member of a *pre-human* hominin species known as Australopithecus Afarensis.

  44. Alsabith. P. S

    I wish Scott will start making KSP or other space sim videos again :(

  45. Imsvale

    Excellent presentation! After being exposed to space exploration and orbital mechanics through Kerbal Space Program, my brain just went bananas with amazement when you showed the sequence of orbits and the different targets for the mission. I’ve never before thought about, let alone been able to remotely appreciate, what goes into this. And even then I’m just scratching the surface.

  46. Steve Starr

    I’m 60 now, to think this mission will still be doing science when I’m 73 absolutely blow my mind. Incredible.

  47. S C

    It is amazing how LSD powers most interesting things in science. Humanity should do more Lucy!

  48. Maxon Headrick

    somebody needs to make a scott manley “best of” playlist and this has to be in it. it just feels like a classic.

  49. Tim Oldbury

    Mind blown !
    The length of time , the precision required and timing is just mind blowing

  50. Scott Cortus

    Scott, thanks for doing this! When I have more $$, I will become a Patreon 👍🏻

  51. Ernest Jude Tiu

    Hello Scott. thanks for making this video, I love it.

  52. Tory Bruno

    Great video, Scott

  53. Timberwolf CY

    This mission is a whole bundle of easter eggs. Love it.

  54. ZChris13

    I’d like to bring up a point that the Atlas 401 is no longer for sale because ULA has stopped taking orders for the Atlas V

  55. John Cashwell

    SCOTT MANLEY, THANK YOU!!! My wife and I visited the National Museum of the United States Air Force over the past weekend and because of your channel and the Everyday Astronaut channel, I have become a serious fan of all things space related. I have learned so much over the past couple years and even though I visit the USAF Museum at least once, sometimes 2 or 3 times, each year, I normally just glance over the rocket related areas of the museum. Not this time! I stood there in the Missile Gallery amazed, and then on to the next area to check out the massive ‘spy’ satellite and its launch vehicle, the impressive Titan IVb. Unlike past visits to this museum as well as previous visits to the NASA Space Launch Complex at Cape Canaveral and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, I had a much deeper understanding of what I was looking at, how and why a particular rocket body or engine was designed and made and so much more. So thank you for expanding my knowledge and, I am sure, doing the same for countless others!

  56. ot44eto

    Maximum science for one mission. Very Kerbal! :)

  57. John Michaelson

    The older I get the more it hits home that I’m reaching the age where I may no longer be around to see the final targets of these long-term missions. I envy you kids out there, appreciate all this discovery!

  58. Owen Smith

    Why does Lucy not use an Ion engine? When you’re trying to get the most from your fuel mass for long missions like this, it has become pretty standard to use an Ion engine.

  59. Whole Nuts And Donuts

    Fascinating it stays in a highly elliptical sun synchronous orbit the entire mission.

  60. Asger Vestbjerg

    impressive tour
    thanks for sharing your experience with all of us👍😀

  61. Benedikt Str

    It’s a crime the binary asteroids aren‘t named Patroclus and Achilles.

  62. Vorch

    Awesome summary of the mission, thank you. Space is big, it’s hard to grasp the scale until you think about 7 years from launch to arrival at the target. We are a very long away from human deep space travel.

  63. thorium222

    That story arc from the beatles via an australopithecin to the asteroids with a diamond is truly impressive.

  64. Zadster

    You missed the fact that Brian Sutter has an assistant, the _Fantastically_ Awesome Deputy Trajectory Genius, Chelsea Welch!

  65. Rose Smith

    Hey Scott, I am part of the Lucy Occultation Team and would love to see you cover that aspect of the mission as well. I would be happy to provide context and images.

  66. Douglas Modesto

    I know there are a lot brilliant minds and sofisticated computers planning this type of mission but it never ceases to amaze me how insane those encounters and gravity assists work.. it’s insane

  67. MoJaKh

    Another good one Mr. Manley! Everything I wanted to know about the mission. Nothing more nothing less.

  68. Paul Haynes

    You know you’re getting old when you hear about a mission like this and your first thought is will I still be here when it finishes?!

  69. Many Things Left To Build

    Great video Scott, interesting Lucy doesn’t use some sort of Ion engine, like Dawn or Dart.

  70. Mark Wandrey

    Scott always makes me feel smarter after his content, and that’s why I love him.

  71. Barack Obama

    This is like an epic trick shot of a trajectory.

  72. CamoLog

    The amount of effort and research that is put into each video is absolutely astounding… We don’t give Scott enough credit for what he provides for us.

  73. loys zimmermann

    I would like to see a cheap (perhaps a cubesat-like thing, with some ion thruster for high specific impulse), mass produced probe. Build a few hundreds of them, and send them all over the solar system, to explore and image thousands of asteroids and KPO. Let’s find where this damn black monolith is hidden.

  74. Ottee2

    Amazing instruments. Bon Voyage, Lucy!🖐

  75. firefly4f4

    There’s also the possibility that in addition to the one on the craft itself the asteroids also contain some amount of carbon crystals, so the song could come into play that way as well. :)

  76. eirinym

    Looking forward to this mission, way more than I am happy about the constant dumpster fire that is Boeing these days.

  77. 1000dots

    You’re a gem as always Scott

  78. Wesley Hale

    Ngl, Lucy in the Sky with a diamond is actually pretty cool. I’d normally roll my eyes at stuff like that, but something about it just hits different

  79. ulysisxtr

    You should do a video about before and after, artist impressions to real data, of many objects, including planets, planetoids, comets, asteroids, etc..

  80. basogoreng

    This is going to be a literal ten year mission for the probe. It fascinates me that there could be a revolving door of mission team members that would either retire before it gets to Patroclus or just barely into college when this thing launches.

  81. null090909

    “Shot it with an anti-tank weapon”. KSP no more, now GTA. 😂

  82. Damian Laugher

    While I understand Lucy is an important skeleton and Johanson is an important figure, Lucy was not the first australopithecine found. The first specimen, the Taung child, was described by Australian anatomist Dr Raymond Dart in 1924, and was the first early hominin found.  Further it was Dart who proposed “Australopithecidae” from which all Australopithecus, including Lucy get their classification.  And Dr. Dart was the uncle of my best friend from Law School.

  83. TheSpacecraftX

    Looks like the two Lockheed Martin employees on the trajectory design team both got to be Awesome Trajectory Geniuses.

  84. The Harbinger

    I guess we will have to wait until Perseverance finds the fool on the hill. Great video Scott.

  85. pwbpeter

    Respect is due to the team who put this mission together, 8 asteroids in 12 years Crazy!

  86. H. A.

    “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘sploring to do.”

    Come on. somebody had to.

  87. Aubrey Freeman

    Can we get a video about your University work some day? Given your fascination with space and asteroids in particular, it would be interesting to hear about

  88. DreamskyDance

    7:00 – cool Lucy has a “temporal displacement drive” as well…

  89. Josh

    Interesting to note that this is the final interplanetary mission to ever be launched on an Atlas rocket.

  90. Patrick's Music

    Props to these mission planners

  91. BTAxis

    All those gravity assists blow my mind. I can’t even imagine how you would begin to work that out.

  92. HylanderSB

    Shout out to Boeing for freeing up that Atlas V booster so this mission could launch on time.

  93. Tushar Goyal

    Incredible to see how you can fine-tune your mission design to hit multiple targets on the same mission. One of the more ambitious multi-target missions since the Voyager Probes! Super excited for the science that will come out of it!

  94. schannoman

    You missed the Fantastically Awesome Deputy Trajectory Genius, Chelsea Welch

  95. Graham Walker

    Interesting that the missions even has potential scope beyond 2033 and the mission instruments were developed using the lessons learned by other recent missions, such as New Horizons.

  96. MrVipitis

    Such a giant mission, however the majority of it is transition with not a lot of observations. So will love to learn about it’s encounters. Other traveling missions are getting closer: BepiColumbo, Solar Orbiter…

  97. Cody -

    Impressed Scott smoothly transitioned from teaching me orbital mechanics in KSP to space news. 👍

  98. MasonP13

    Donald Johansson discovered Lucy, so now Lucy will discover Donald Johansson

  99. Joe

    Lucy, her pupils dilated, in the sky, with diamonds.

  100. Clone Trooper 5555

    Lucy’s trajectory is very interesting. I’ll be excited to see what it sends back in the next few years.

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