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 […]


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 […]

The Art of Planetary Science is an annual event to celebrate the intersection of art and science in Tucson.

On October 17-19, 2014, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on the University of Arizona campus hosted the second annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. I have always viewed scientific endeavors as having an artistic component. Through our work, scientists seek to understand the nature of our Universe and the laws that govern its evolution. We […]

The Hayabusa-2 mission shares many common goals with OSIRIS-REx.

On October 3rd, 2014, the University of Arizona (UA) hosted representatives of the Hayabusa-2 asteroid sample return mission to explore opportunities for collaboration with the OSIRIS-REx team. Following an invitation from UA President Ann Weaver Hart, a team led by Dr. Saku Tsuneta, Director General of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) of the […]

The 77th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society was held in Casablanca this year.

Guest blogger: Professor Harold C. Connolly Jr. In the second week of September 2014, approximately 450 scientists from around the world gathered in Casablanca, Morocco to give professional talks and discuss all things meteorite—this was the 77th annual meeting of the international Meteoritical Society. The meeting is the major yearly gathering for scientists whose research […]

These figures show the slope distribution on the surface of Bennu. This information provides confidence that loose regolith can accumulate at the equator.

Today, we released the OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Asteroid (DRA) document to the public. The DRA is a compilation of all that is known about the OSIRIS-REx mission target, asteroid (101955) Bennu. We are making this document available as a service to future mission planners in the hope that it will inform their efforts. The DRA […]

The static test fixture is a series of vices, which push and pull on the structure to simulate the loads that the spacecraft will experience during launch.

The development of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to make great progress. When I last reported on the status of the vehicle, we were preparing to deliver the structure to Lockheed Martin’s Structures Test Lab to undergo static load testing. I am happy to report that the Static Test is complete! The last load case was […]

Two years to launch!

Today marks exactly two years to the opening of the OSIRIS-REx launch window on September 3, 2016. These milestones are always a good time to reflect on the progress to date and the work going forward. Josh Wood, our Flight System Engineer at Lockheed Martin sent out a great email to the team that provides […]


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