Category Propulsion System

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Assembly Nearly Complete

The OSIRIS-REx mission continues to make great progress. As I have mentioned before, we are in the Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase of the program. We have had many great accomplishments leading up to this point. At the heart of our mission is the Sample Acquisition and Return Assembly (SARA). This assembly contains […]

OSIRIS-REx Begins ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations)!

Yesterday, the OSIRIS-REx mission passed another major milestone – successfully completing Key Decision Point “D” (KDP-D). This decision point is one of five key milestones that we pass through leading up to launch. KDP-D occurred after we had completed a series of independent reviews that cover the technical readiness, schedule, and cost of the project. […]

The OSIRIS-REx Heavy Launch Opportunity

As recent press articles have discussed, the OSIRIS-REx team has been busy performing a special study related to our launch mass and propellant load. The objective of this study is to look at ways to increase the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft delta-V capability as much as possible without impacting the current spacecraft or launch vehicle designs. Delta-V […]

Integration of the OSIRIS-REx Main Propellant Tank

The assembly of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to make excellent progress. Most notably, this month Lockheed Martin installed the main propellant tank on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at their Space Systems Company facility near Denver, Colorado. In addition to the large tank, many of the primary propulsion components are in house and undergoing extensive testing and […]