Kevin Walsh (left) and I pose for a shot with OSIRIS-REx in the background.

Last month I finally got up close and personal with the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. I am now making regular visits to the Lockheed Martin Space Systems facility in Littleton, Colorado, where OSIRIS-REx is under construction. However, during most of these visits, I only get to see the spacecraft from the viewing gallery on the third floor, […]

Here, the HGA undergoes a fit check. The main spacecraft structure is behind the HGA and the clean room engineers are checking the alignment where the HGA will be installed onto the spacecraft. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is in the assembly and testing phase at Lockheed Martin’s facility outside of Denver, Colorado. The instruments have begun to arrive at the facility, with OTES and OVIRS being delivered in the past weeks. While the OLA, OCAMS, and REXIS instruments continue working towards their deliveries, other hardware onsite at Lockheed is undergoing testing […]

Professors Shogo Tachibana (left) and Harold Connolly Jr.

In February of 2013, the science community’s eyes were glued to the sky. They were watching for asteroid Duende, a 30m lump of rock that was due to skim past our planet in a record close approach for an object of its size. And while everyone stared skywards in one direction, another rock shot in […]

Credit: Catalina Sky Survey, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona

Imagine… Imagine turning a mere point of light into a real world! That is what Target Asteroids! observers do when they submit images and data to the OSIRIS-REx mission’s citizen science program. These observations allow the OSIRIS-REx science team and other planetary scientists to better understand our target, Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) (101955) Bennu, and […]

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

Four mission assembly progress reports: ExoMars TGO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, and BepiColombo | The Planetary Society.

An example of visualizing data relevant to OSIRIS-REx.

Guest Bloggers: Heather Roper and Ryan Dougherty We are Heather Roper and Ryan Dougherty, and we recently graduated from the University of Arizona. We served as graphic artists for the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission. We worked directly with the scientists, engineers, and mission management to learn about the mission and then worked to convey […]

The bright spots on Ceres occur at the bottom of fresh impact craters - suggesting an icy subsurface layer.  Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

This past weekend, I had the chance to join colleagues from across the country to celebrate the arrival of the Dawn spacecraft at Dwarf Planet/Asteroid 1 Ceres – the largest object in the main asteroid belt. After more than seven years cruising through the solar system, including an amazing year exploring asteroid 4 Vesta, Dawn […]

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 […]

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