NASA Names Mission LUCY After Beatles Song

“When we sat down to write the song at John’s house, Julian’s drawing of Lucy and the stars was what inspired us,” said Paul McCartney. “At the top of the drawing Julian had written in childlike script, ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.'”

Said Ringo Starr, “How great it would be for Lucy to go back in the sky with diamonds. Peace & Love, Ringo.”



Find out how a hit song, inspired by a drawing from a rock star’s young son, inspired the name of a fossil human ancestor, which inspired the name of a NASA mission to understand our origins.

“We are conscious of all the ways the name we chose for this mission has different cultural meanings,” said Keith Noll, project scientist for Lucy at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “If Lucy resonates with someone, brings them in and gets them asking questions, that’s just great.”

Lucy will launch in October 2021 and fly by its targets between 2025 and 2033. In all, Lucy will study six Trojans and one Main Belt asteroid.

For more information about NASA’s Lucy mission: