67P is truly an alien world, a 5 km-wide solar system body shaped by vaporizing ices and left tattered by its many trips around the Sun. (Credit ESA)

Guest Blogger: Ed Beshore Dante has written extensively here about the science we hope to accomplish both at Bennu and when we return a sample to the Earth. He and other guest columnists like me have also discussed the design and construction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and its instruments (OCAMS, OLA, OVIRS, OTES, and REXIS). […]

Fire at Highland Plating on July 13.

Guest Bloggers: Jason Hair, Dennis Reuter, and Amy Simon Building a mission or an instrument is not for the faint of heart. While engineering teams develop plans to avoid major mishaps, sometimes even the best laid plans aren’t enough. A case in point is a series of unfortunate events that happened to the OVIRS instrument […]

The launch vehicle capability and the mission profile set the wet-mass for a spacecraft mission. Image: Lockheed Martin

As recent press articles have discussed, the OSIRIS-REx team has been busy performing a special study related to our launch mass and propellant load. The objective of this study is to look at ways to increase the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft delta-V capability as much as possible without impacting the current spacecraft or launch vehicle designs. Delta-V […]

The UA College of Science presents seven free lectures on "Life in the Universe". This series explores our Universe at molecular, biological, planetary and cosmic scales to ask "What is life?" and how do we recognize it?

On Monday, February 2, 2015, I will present the UA College of Science Lecture on “Planet Formation and the Origin of Life”. This is a research theme that I have pursued for most of my career. It is generally accepted that planets or their satellites are required for life to originate and evolve. Thus, in […]

The OSIRIS-REx mural now graces the west wall of the Michael J. Drake building at the University of Arizona.

The Art Project Today we officially unveiled the mural celebrating the University of Arizona-led OSIRIS-REx mission. To create this public art, we teamed up with the students of Professor Alfred Quiroz’s fall semester mural painting class at the UA School of Art. Between August and December 2014, the students worked together to produce this great […]

2014-emailteaser

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many […]

Completion of the OSIRIS-REx main propellant tank integration with the spacecraft structure.

The assembly of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to make excellent progress. Most notably, this month Lockheed Martin installed the main propellant tank on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at their Space Systems Company facility near Denver, Colorado. In addition to the large tank, many of the primary propulsion components are in house and undergoing extensive testing and […]

YORP

As I have discussed in an earlier post, one of the OSIRIS-REx mission’s top objectives is to understand the Yarkovsky effect. The Yarkovsky effect describes a small force that affects the orbit of asteroids. In the 19th century, Ivan Yarkovsky realized that the infrared radiation escaping from a body warmed by the Sun carries off […]

Bennu's Journey is a 6-minute animated movie about NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission, asteroid Bennu, and the formation of our solar system.

This week the OSIRIS-REx project released Bennu’s Journey, a movie describing one possible history of our target asteroid – Bennu. The animation is among the most highly detailed productions created by Goddard’s Conceptual Image Laboratory. It is the result of an exciting collaboration between the OSIRIS-REx Science Team, Walt Feimer and Michael Lentz, from the […]

Rosetta mission logo

Yesterday, the European Space Agency (ESA) made planetary exploration history. Rosetta became the first mission to successfully land a spacecraft on the surface of a comet. The Philae lander detached from Rosetta on November 12, 2014 at 08:35 UTC and landed seven hours later at 15:35 (8:35 am in Tucson). A confirmed landing signal was […]

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