Category OSIRIS-REx

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

The Science of “Bennu’s Journey”

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

The Rosetta Mission’s Philae Landing – An OSIRIS-REx Perspective

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.

The Art of Planetary Science

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.

Collaboration Between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2

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 […]

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

All That is Known About Bennu

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.

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Passes First Major Qualification Test

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 […]

Figure 1: The REXIS spectrometer engineering model undergoing thermal testing.

REXIS: X-ray Vision for OSIRIS-REx

Guest Bloggers: Mark Chodas (REXIS Student Team Members) and Richard P. Binzel (REXIS-PI) When the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrives at the target near-Earth asteroid Bennu, its first science task is to globally characterize the nature and composition of the asteroid surface. This characterization is all driven toward the selection among safe and enticing sampling sites for […]

The color of asteroids helps determine which family they belong to.

The Osirian Asteroid Family

Asteroid Families Defined The asteroid community recently gathered in Helsinki, Finland for the 12th Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference. As this meeting showed, one of the hottest topics in asteroid science is the study of asteroid families. The majority of asteroids orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. As a century of research has shown, […]

ACM 2014 logo-square

OSIRIS-REx at the 2014 Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference

  I just recently returned from a trip to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 12th Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference. The ACM conference focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies and their role in understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System. Topics range from the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems to […]

The Canadian Space Agency

Osirians of the Great White North – The Canadian Contribution to OSIRIS-REx

Co-authored with Lori Stiles When we first started planning an asteroid sample-return mission for the NASA New Frontiers Program, we looked to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to provide the OLA instrument for topographic mapping and ranging to the asteroid. We also sought Co-Investigators from Canada to help us study the geology of our target […]

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