Category Sample Science

TAGSAM deployment provides an opportunity to test the imaging capability of the SamCam.

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 […]

The SARA panel, containing both TAGSAM and the SRC was installed on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft this month. Note the harnesses dropping the panel in. The SRC and TAGSAM are bagged to maintain cleanliness and ensure return of a pristine sample.

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 […]

Kevin Walsh (left) and I pose for a shot with OSIRIS-REx in the background.

A Visit to the ATLO Floor

Last month I finally got up close and personal with the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. I am now making regular visits to the Lockheed Martin Space Systems facility in Littleton, Colorado, where OSIRIS-REx is under construction. However, during most of these visits, I only get to see the spacecraft from the viewing gallery on the third floor, […]

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 […]

OSIRIS-REx explores Astrobiology in this 321-Science video.

OSIRIS-REx – Seeking Answers to the Sweet Mystery of Life

Guest Blogger: Jason Dworkin   The nature of the origin of life is a topic that has engaged people since ancient times. Where did we come from? What was the first life? How are we related? Are we alone? The study of biologic remains and environments preserved in rocks (fossils) and biochemical pathways and structures […]

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

Development of the OSIRIS-REx Sampling System: TAGSAM and the SRC

In addition to continued progress in the building the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and scientific instruments, the team at Lockheed Martin has been busy assembling and testing two key components of the system. The Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) is the device that satisfies all sample-acquisition requirements. TAGSAM consists of two major components: a sampler head and […]

Figure 1: Artist view looking from the spacecraft down at the extended arm, and the sampling device during the descent to the surface.

How Do We Know When We Have Collected a Sample of Bennu?

Guest Blogger: Kevin Walsh A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision, and I will describe some of the important factors of that decision below. Just as important – […]

The UA College of Science presents seven free lectures on "Life in the Universe". This series explores our Universe at molecular, biological, planetary and cosmic scales to ask "What is life?" and how do we recognize it?

Planet Formation and the Origin of Life

On Monday, February 2, 2015, I will present the UA College of Science Lecture on “Planet Formation and the Origin of Life”. This is a research theme that I have pursued for most of my career. It is generally accepted that planets or their satellites are required for life to originate and evolve. Thus, in […]

Bennu's Journey is a 6-minute animated movie about NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission, asteroid Bennu, and the formation of our solar system.

The Science of “Bennu’s Journey”

This week the OSIRIS-REx project released Bennu’s Journey, a movie describing one possible history of our target asteroid – Bennu. The animation is among the most highly detailed productions created by Goddard’s Conceptual Image Laboratory. It is the result of an exciting collaboration between the OSIRIS-REx Science Team, Walt Feimer and Michael Lentz, from the […]

The Hayabusa-2 mission shares many common goals with OSIRIS-REx.

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 […]