Tag Archives: Thermal Emission Spectroscopy

OVIRS Development – Rising From the Ashes

Guest Bloggers: Jason Hair, Dennis Reuter, and Amy Simon Building a mission or an instrument is not for the faint of heart. While engineering teams develop plans to avoid major mishaps, sometimes even the best laid plans aren’t enough. A case in point is a series of unfortunate events that happened to the OVIRS instrument […]

The YORP Effect and Bennu

As I have discussed in an earlier post, one of the OSIRIS-REx mission’s top objectives is to understand the Yarkovsky effect. The Yarkovsky effect describes a small force that affects the orbit of asteroids. In the 19th century, Ivan Yarkovsky realized that the infrared radiation escaping from a body warmed by the Sun carries off […]

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 […]

All That is Known About Bennu

Today, we released the OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Asteroid (DRA) document to the public. The DRA is a compilation of all that is known about the OSIRIS-REx mission target, asteroid (101955) Bennu. We are making this document available as a service to future mission planners in the hope that it will inform their efforts. The DRA […]

OSIRIS-REx at the 2014 Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference

  I just recently returned from a trip to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 12th Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference. The ACM conference focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies and their role in understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System. Topics range from the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems to […]

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Mission – Our Battle Plan

This week the OSIRIS-REx team gathered at the Lockheed Martin facility in Denver to perform a “Design Reference Mission (DRM)” walkthrough. The DRM is basically the battle plan for OSIRIS-REx for accomplishing our goal of returning pristine samples from asteroid Bennu. In addition, the DRM lays out our basic strategy for dealing with any problems […]

The OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) – Our Heat Sensor and Mineral Mapper

Guest Blogger: Vicky Hamilton, OTES Deputy Instrument Scientist To help characterize the asteroid Bennu and aid in the selection of a scientifically compelling sampling site, OSIRIS-REx carries a pair of complementary spectrometers, one of which is called the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer, or OTES. OTES is being developed and built at the School of Earth […]

Spitzer Space Telescope Observations of Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx mission has the unique challenge of visiting asteroid Bennu, characterizing it at global and local scales, then selecting the best site on the asteroid surface to acquire a sample for return to Earth. In order to minimize the risk of exploring an unknown world, OSIRIS-REx has recruited some of the best asteroid astronomers […]