Category Asteroids

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 […]

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 […]

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 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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

The OSIRIS-REx Visible and near-IR Spectrometer (OVIRS) – Measuring the chemistry and reflectance of Bennu

Guest Blogger: Amy Simon – OVIRS Deputy Instrument Scientist OSIRIS-REx will map the entire surface of asteroid Bennu to pick a site that is most accessible and likely to yield a sample, but is also scientifically interesting. Choosing the best site requires understanding both the local geology and the local composition; a prime goal of […]

The OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) – Our Measuring Tool

Guest Blogger:Michael Daly – OLA Instrument Scientist, York University The OSIRIS-REx mission will visit the carbonaceous near-Earth asteroid Bennu in 2018 and bring back a sample for analysis in Earth-based laboratories in 2023. In order to understand where the sample comes from as well as to select a sample site, the spacecraft has a number […]

Highlights from OSIRIS-REx Science Team Meeting #6

The OSIRIS-REx Science Team gathered at the University of Arizona in Tucson from April 22 -24, 2014 for their sixth meeting. The meeting was a dynamic event and covered many aspects of both the science and implementation of the mission. In this post I will discuss a few of the highlights. In Search of the […]

Reddit – Ask Me Anything – Top 10 Questions

On April 15, 2014 I hosted my second Reddit – Ask Me Anything Session. The response from the Reddit community was great and many insightful questions were asked. Here are the top-10 questions from this event: #1 – I have trouble planning my weekend more than a day in advance. What are some of the […]