OSIRIS-REx explores Astrobiology in this 321-Science video.

Guest Blogger: Jason Dworkin   The nature of the origin of life is a topic that has engaged people since ancient times. Where did we come from? What was the first life? How are we related? Are we alone? The study of biologic remains and environments preserved in rocks (fossils) and biochemical pathways and structures […]

Vacuum Chamber - Space Simulation System - Thermal Vacuum System Testing

Originally posted on LACO Technologies Tech Blog:
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission will send a spacecraft in September 2016 to the asteroid Bennu in order to extract a sample and bring it back to earth. Bennu is a carbon-rich asteroid that records the earliest history of our Solar System, and by studying a piece of it we could discover the origin of life. Bennu is…

A dedicated team at Lockheed Martin continues to make great progress in building the SRC.

In addition to continued progress in the building the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and scientific instruments, the team at Lockheed Martin has been busy assembling and testing two key components of the system. The Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) is the device that satisfies all sample-acquisition requirements. TAGSAM consists of two major components: a sampler head and […]

The System Integration Review was the last major technical review leading up to the KDP-D decision.

Yesterday, the OSIRIS-REx mission passed another major milestone – successfully completing Key Decision Point “D” (KDP-D). This decision point is one of five key milestones that we pass through leading up to launch. KDP-D occurred after we had completed a series of independent reviews that cover the technical readiness, schedule, and cost of the project. […]

Contact us at Ambassadors@orex.lpl.arizona.edu to sign up and get started as an ambassador!

Guest Blogger: Dolores Hill Who in the world? Who in the world would spend their free time talking to the public about the OSIRIS-REx mission and asteroids? OSIRIS-REx Ambassador volunteers and OSIRIS-REx team members! We are privileged to have a great team of volunteers who staff tables at public events such as the University of […]

Figure 1: Artist view looking from the spacecraft down at the extended arm, and the sampling device during the descent to the surface.

Guest Blogger: Kevin Walsh A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision, and I will describe some of the important factors of that decision below. Just as important – […]

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 […]

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