Category Spacecraft

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 […]

The Journey to Kennedy Space Center

The OSIRIS-REx project continues to progress seamlessly through the Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase. We are now done with the AT portion of this phase and have started LO. The test phase ended with the completion of the last major environmental test: the thermal vacuum test. With the test program complete, the team […]

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 […]

OSIRIS-REx Passes EMI/EMC Testing

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has completed the Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMI/EMC) system level test. This test has three objectives. The first objective is to test for Radiated Emissions, which are the release of electromagnetic energy from the spacecraft. To pass this test, the team had to verify that the emissions from the Spacecraft do not violate […]

How REXIS Made It on the Spacecraft

OSIRIS-REx has achieved many major milestones over the past month. Of the more significant accomplishments is the installation of the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) on the spacecraft. The instrument team has successfully installed the REXIS Spectrometer and Solar X-ray Monitor on the spacecraft.  The Initial Power-on and functional tests were successfully completed on December […]

OSIRIS-REx Completes Mechanical Environmental Testing

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to progress smoothly through the Assembly, Test, Launch and Operations (ATLO) process. This past month, the team successfully and safely completed sine vibration (sine vibe) testing prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The sine vibe tests are designed to verify the system performs as expected after being exposed to flight-like low frequency […]

OSIRIS-REx Progressing Through Environmental Testing

Our spacecraft continues to make steady progress toward launch in September 2016. During the final stages of assembly, OSIRIS-REx completed final installation of the High Gain Antenna and completed solar array installation. After integrating these components, we completed a solar array illumination test on both arrays. The Spacecraft then passed a cleaning check and was […]