OSIRIS-REx Team Prepares for Next Step in NASA’s Asteroid Sample Return Mission

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Image source: NASA

Image source: NASA

With launch usually 15 months away, NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) group is scheming to broach instruments for formation with a booster that will transport to, and collect a representation from, an asteroid.

“This is an sparkling time for a project,” pronounced Mike Donnelly, OSIRIS-REx plan manager from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.  “Years of bid are entrance to perfection with a arriving deliveries of a instruments to a spacecraft.”

OSIRIS-REx will transport to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and move a tiny representation behind to Earth for study. The goal is scheduled for launch in Sep 2016. The booster will strech a asteroid aim in 2018 and lapse a representation to Earth in 2023.

The booster will lift 5 instruments from inhabitant and general partners. These instruments will be pivotal to mapping and examining Bennu’s aspect and will be vicious in identifying a site from that a representation can be safely retrieved and eventually returned to Earth.

The OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS) consists of 3 cameras that will picture a asteroid Bennu during proceed and vicinity operations. The University of Arizona designed and built OCAMS.

The OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) will indicate Bennu to map a whole asteroid surface, producing internal and tellurian topographic maps. OLA is a contributed instrument from a Canadian Space Agency.

The OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) will control surveys to map vegetable and chemical abundances and to take Bennu’s temperature. OTES is supposing by Arizona State University.

The OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) measures manifest and infrared light from Bennu, that can be used to brand H2O and organic materials. The instrument is supposing by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

A tyro examination called a Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) will map component abundances on a asteroid. REXIS is a partnership between a students and expertise of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

“These instruments are essential to accomplishing a mission’s scholarship goals and unlocking a secrets of Bennu,” pronounced Dante Lauretta, principal questioner for OSIRIS-Rex during a University of Arizona, Tucson. “I am unapproachable of a loyalty to value that any of a instrument teams brings to this mission, and we demeanour brazen to all that we will learn during a asteroid.”

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland provides altogether goal management, systems engineering and reserve and goal declaration for OSIRIS-REx. Dante Lauretta is a mission’s principal questioner during a University of Arizona. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver is building a spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is a third goal in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama manages New Frontiers for a agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Source: NASA