Category OVIRS

Ready for the Earth Gravity Assist!

It is hard to believe that OSIRIS-REx has been in space for over one year. We celebrated the first anniversary of our launch on September 8, 2017. I celebrated this milestone by visiting my hometown Boys and Girls Club in Phoenix, AZ, where I grew up. As the plaque in this image shows, I was […]

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 […]

Populating the OSIRIS-REx Science Deck

The assembly of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues, with many elements integrated onto the spacecraft ahead of schedule. Last month both OTES and OVIRS were delivered to Lockheed Martin and installed on the science deck. OTES had the honor of being the first science instrument to be placed on the spacecraft. Both OTES and OVIRS came […]

OVIRS Development – Rising From the Ashes

Guest Bloggers: Jason Hair, Dennis Reuter, and Amy Simon Building a mission or an instrument is not for the faint of heart. While engineering teams develop plans to avoid major mishaps, sometimes even the best laid plans aren’t enough. A case in point is a series of unfortunate events that happened to the OVIRS instrument […]

Two Years to Launch – Another moment to reflect…

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 […]

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 Design Reference Mission – Our Battle Plan

This week the OSIRIS-REx team gathered at the Lockheed Martin facility in Denver to perform a “Design Reference Mission (DRM)” walkthrough. The DRM is basically the battle plan for OSIRIS-REx for accomplishing our goal of returning pristine samples from asteroid Bennu. In addition, the DRM lays out our basic strategy for dealing with any problems […]

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 […]

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 […]