Tag Archives: asteroid

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Xtronaut – A New Approach to Education and Public Outreach

September 2015 marked an important milestone for the OSIRIS-REx mission. We are now less than one year to launch and only eight months away from shipping the spacecraft down to Kennedy Space Center for integration with the Atlas V launch vehicle. As I recently reported, the spacecraft is in great shape and is almost complete. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

We Want You – To Become an OSIRIS-REx Ambassador!

Guest Blogger: Dolores Hill Who in the world? Who in the world would spend their free time talking to the public about the OSIRIS-REx mission and asteroids? OSIRIS-REx Ambassador volunteers and OSIRIS-REx team members! We are privileged to have a great team of volunteers who staff tables at public events such as the University of […]

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 – […]