Category Autobiographical

Scout and me :)

Plot Twist: How I Became the OSIRIS-REx Videographer

My name is Symeon Platts. I am a dog owner first and a cinematographer second. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts this past May, and I am now the Videographer for the OSIRIS-REx mission. I work closely with scientists and engineers to create content that showcases our mission’s objectives and […]

An example of visualizing data relevant to OSIRIS-REx.

The OSIRIS-REx Graphic Artists – Where Art and Science Intersect

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 OSIRIS-REx spacecraft structure marks the beginning of building the system that will fly to Bennu.

Spacecraft Structure – The Bones of OSIRIS-REx

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the spacecraft composite fabrication lab at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company facility near Denver. The construction of OSIRIS-REx has begun! The first flight components include the spacecraft structural parts – basically the skeleton of our spacecraft upon which all other components will be mounted. Spacecraft structures have […]

Over 100 team members and guests attended OSIRIS-REx STM06

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 […]

Thank you Reddit for a great AMA!

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 […]

We celebrated the CDR with commemorative artwork and promotional items.

A Successful Critical Design Review!

Yesterday marked the final day of the OSIRIS-REx Critical Design Review (CDR). This review began on April 1, 2014 and spanned nine days – with one day off in the middle. Over 60 OSIRIS-REx team members presented almost 1,600 PowerPoint charts in 56 hours. Since a CDR is required for all elements (i.e., spacecraft, instruments, […]

In the original OSIRIS concept we planned to sample two asteroids before returning to Earth.

Ten Years of Spacecraft Design

February 2014 marked my ten-year anniversary working on the OSIRIS-REx project. At this point, we have completed most of our subsystem design reviews and are diligently preparing for the Mission Critical Design Review the first week of April. I decided to celebrate this important milestone with a look back at how the overall design of […]

The OSIRIS-REx team celebrates a successful test campaign with a group shot in reduced gravity.

Riding the Vomit Comet

This week, I was at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado for the Critical Design Review of our Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) and the Sample Return Capsule (SRC). The review went very well and Lockheed Martin has made great progress in the design of these units, as well as the detailed planning for […]

Dante in St Louis 1993b

My Journey to the Asteroid Frontier – Part 2

As described in a previous post, my college life culminated in the realization that, after much soul searching and personal exploration, I was destined to pursue a career in planetary science. Believe it or not, the internet was not easily accessible in 1993. In order to research potential graduate schools, I had to trek to […]

VW Bus

My Journey to the Asteroid Frontier – Part 1

Many people ask me how I came to be the Principal Investigator for the OSIRIS-REx mission. My journey into the asteroid frontier started in 1988, when I enrolled at the University of Arizona, majoring in Theoretical Mathematics. I considered myself an explorer of inner space and spent a lot of time reading about the limits […]