Category Planetary Science

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 […]

MeteorCrater1

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 […]

BradsSpacecraftSelfie

Engineering an Impact on the New Frontier

Guest Blogger:  Bradley Williams It was a chilly December morning; I was 10 years old and sitting on the cold, hard floor of my elementary school library … too enthralled and focused on a 20-inch television screen to realize how uncomfortable I was.  The TV was showing a live stream of Entry, Decent, and Landing […]

The Bennuval! celebrates the unique creative environment of Tucson - merging space exploration with art, music, and more!

A Look Back at the Bennuval!

Guest Blogger: Thea Jane Van Gorp Thea Jane Van Gorp is a reporter for the Arizona Daily Wildcat. She wrote an article previewing the Bennuval! event, which was held in Tucson, AZ on September 12, 2015. She provided this review of the evening from her unique perspective. Bennuval! An evening of Space, Art, and Music […]

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 […]

Here, the HGA undergoes a fit check. The main spacecraft structure is behind the HGA and the clean room engineers are checking the alignment where the HGA will be installed onto the spacecraft. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

OSIRIS-REx – Testing In Progress

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is in the assembly and testing phase at Lockheed Martin’s facility outside of Denver, Colorado. The instruments have begun to arrive at the facility, with OTES and OVIRS being delivered in the past weeks. While the OLA, OCAMS, and REXIS instruments continue working towards their deliveries, other hardware onsite at Lockheed is undergoing testing […]

Professors Shogo Tachibana (left) and Harold Connolly Jr.

The Difficulties with Predicting Armageddon

In February of 2013, the science community’s eyes were glued to the sky. They were watching for asteroid Duende, a 30m lump of rock that was due to skim past our planet in a record close approach for an object of its size. And while everyone stared skywards in one direction, another rock shot in […]

Credit: Catalina Sky Survey, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona

The Target Asteroids! Citizen Science Program

Imagine… Imagine turning a mere point of light into a real world! That is what Target Asteroids! observers do when they submit images and data to the OSIRIS-REx mission’s citizen science program. These observations allow the OSIRIS-REx science team and other planetary scientists to better understand our target, Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) (101955) Bennu, and […]

A dedicated team at Lockheed Martin continues to make great progress in building the SRC.

Four mission assembly progress reports: ExoMars TGO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, and BepiColombo | The Planetary Society

Four mission assembly progress reports: ExoMars TGO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, and BepiColombo | The Planetary Society.

The bright spots on Ceres occur at the bottom of fresh impact craters - suggesting an icy subsurface layer.  Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Celebrating the Small Bodies of the Solar System – i C Ceres!

This past weekend, I had the chance to join colleagues from across the country to celebrate the arrival of the Dawn spacecraft at Dwarf Planet/Asteroid 1 Ceres – the largest object in the main asteroid belt. After more than seven years cruising through the solar system, including an amazing year exploring asteroid 4 Vesta, Dawn […]