Atlas V Rocket will Carry Lucy and Dedication to Space


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The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V that will launch NASA’s Lucy spacecraft on its 12-year mission to study the Trojan asteroids will also carry three dedication laminates on the rocket.  

The first, is in memory of Craig M. Whittaker, a colleague and friend of NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) and ULA teams, in recognition of his hard work and dedication shown throughout the pandemic. Whittaker was a founding member of the Launch Services Program at Kennedy in 1998. He was a devoted family man, a great leader, public servant and a highly respected member of the LSP family. Through his efforts and commitment, Craig helped shape and lay the groundwork for commercial launch services contracts used by NASA today.


The second is in memory of two colleagues and friends, William “Billy” Joiner II, and Mark “Kaz” Kaszubowski. Joiner began his 35-year career at Martin Marietta in 1980, continuing on to Lockheed Martin, and finally, ULA. He was an outstanding technician who supported critical payload processing operations for the Department of Defense, NASA, and others. Joiner was a great friend and employee and a team player who will be missed by all. Kaszubowski was an accomplished engineer and wonderful mentor. Over his 30-year career, his primary expertise was in launch vehicle structures and integration. He led numerous Atlas design efforts, including serving as a structural design lead on the Atlas II, IIAS, and III development programs. Kaszubowski will be missed across the launch community where he left an amazing legacy.

The third plaque is dedicated to the Goddard Space Flight Center Lucy Mission Team, in recognition of their hard work and dedication shown throughout the pandemic.


Lucy is scheduled to launch atop the ULA Atlas V 401 rocket at 5:34 a.m. EDT on Oct. 16, 2021, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Lucy is the first space mission to study the Trojan asteroids, remnants of our early solar system trapped in stable orbits, and following Jupiter in its path around the Sun.


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