Tag Archives: rocket engines

The Atlas V 411 AV-067: Our Ride to Space

OSIRIS-REx is scheduled for lift-off from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on September 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm EDT. The daily launch window is almost two hours long, extending to 9:00 pm EDT. The entire launch window is 34 days long, extending through October 11, 2016. We certainly hope we […]

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 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 […]

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Passes First Major Qualification Test

The development of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to make great progress. When I last reported on the status of the vehicle, we were preparing to deliver the structure to Lockheed Martin’s Structures Test Lab to undergo static load testing. I am happy to report that the Static Test is complete! The last load case was […]

Sampling an Asteroid – A Game of Laser TAG

Every spacecraft mission has at least one moment of terror. For OSIRIS-REx, mission success comes down to the five seconds when our Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) “kisses” the surface of asteroid Bennu to acquire a sample. Our TAG-based sampling approach is the result of over ten years of research and development efforts. To Land […]

Six Degrees of Freedom

The primary objective of OSIRIS-REx is to return a sample of asteroid Bennu to Earth. Many of the functions required to achieve mission success – such as collecting solar energy for power or communicating with the Earth – are standard for any operating spacecraft. However, there are many unique challenges for this mission. One of […]