Author Archives: dslauretta

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Constellations Part 2: Drawing Board

Originally posted on Ian Zang Design:
Continued from here: Constellations Part 1: The Creation After my first iteration didn’t quite do it, I had to hit the drawing board. Dante had the idea to make little constellation cutouts that could fit on a board, a la Blokus. The constellations would fill in the board, and make…

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Constellations Part 1: The Creation

Originally posted on Ian Zang Design:
Over the next few weeks, this blog will cover how Constellations came to be. The path has been a little winding, so we’ll start from the beginning. Constellations is being published (and codesigned) with Dante Lauretta, the Principal Investigator on the OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu. Xtronaut, Dante’s company,…

The trajectory of OSIRIS-REx as we pass through the Earth-Sun L4 region.

Searching for the Earth-Trojan Asteroids

The OSIRIS-REx mission will take advantage of our fortuitous trajectory to search for an elusive class of asteroids that may be the remnants of the building blocks of the Earth. Since our launch on September 8, 2016, spacecraft operations for OSIRIS-REx have gone well. We have exercised the propulsion system by performing regular momentum dumps […]


OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Check Out and Early Cruise Phase Activities

It has been awhile since I posted anything to this site. The launch of OSIRIS-REx was such an amazing, emotional experience; it took me about a month to come back down to Earth (pun intended). I have now settled into a normal work routine in Tucson and the team has been busy operating the spacecraft […]

Liftoff of OSIRIS-REx from Pad 41.

OSIRIS-REx – Day 2 in Space

       Our spacecraft continues to operate flawlessly. Kudos to the operations team members who have been tracking and operating the spacecraft since separation! Here are some details on recent status.      After a flawless launch day, day 2 has also progressed as planned.      We have completed the Countup Procedure and the spacecraft has […]

Atlas V OREx logo

The Atlas V 411 AV-067: Our Ride to Space

OSIRIS-REx is scheduled for lift-off from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on September 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm EDT. The daily launch window is almost two hours long, extending to 9:00 pm EDT. The entire launch window is 34 days long, extending through October 11, 2016. We certainly hope we […]

On the Lighter Side – Lauretta’s Margarita Recipes

As the excitement to the OSIRIS-REx launch builds up, the Tucson community has rallied in support of the mission. Somehow my summer research program was leaked out – creating new margarita recipes! Every summer I embark on a new journey to create a delicious and relaxing drink. Several of the drinkeries around town have requested […]


What Would Happen if Asteroid Bennu Were to Impact the Earth?

Yesterday, the media reported widely on the upcoming launch of OSIRIS-REx. While many of these reports were accurate and informative, a few of the headlines were a little misleading. For example: NASA Spacecraft Set to Explore Giant Asteroid That Could Destroy Earth Fortunately, as the news cycle progressed, these inaccuracies were corrected: No, Asteroid Bennu […]


39 Days to Launch – What’s Left to Get Done?

With only 39 days to go until we launch OSIRIS-REx our schedule is packed with activities. Here is a quick rundown of what the team has left to do to get ready to blast this asteroid-sampling robot into space. 8/2: Mission Event Readiness Review – DSN/JPL The Deep Space Network (DSN) is a critical component […]

Review: Xtronaut Board Game

Originally posted on The Black Campbell:
This was one I stumbled onto on Kickstarter — Dante Lauretta, an planetary scientist at University of Arizona and the head of the OSIRIS-REx mission, while doing the massive amounts of waiting that come with the space program, and some of the members of his team decided to build a…