NASA OSIRIS-REx Flexes Its “Arm” Before Arriving At Asteroid Bennu

TAGSAM, or Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, completed a successful practice deployment in space on Nov. 14—an important milestone in the OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu. TAGSAM is the first-of-its-kind robotic arm and sampling head invented by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin engineers on the Mission Support Area (MSA) team moved TAGSAM’s arm through the full …Read More

Share Button

First Images Of Asteroid Bennu Obtained By The NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft

After two years traveling through space, the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has started to obtain images of the mission target, primitive asteroid Bennu. As part of the Scientific Team of this mission, researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Javier Licandro and Julia de León have already started to work in the calibration of …Read More

Share Button

OSIRIS-REx Executes Second Asteroid Approach Maneuver

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft executed its second Asteroid Approach Maneuver (AAM-2) yesterday. The spacecraft’s main engine thrusters fired in a braking maneuver designed to slow the spacecraft’s speed relative to Bennu from 315 mph (141 m/sec) to 11.8 mph (5.2 m/sec). Likewise, the spacecraft’s approach speed dropped from nearly 7,580 miles (12,200 km) to 280 miles …Read More

Share Button

OSIRIS-REx Executes First Asteroid Approach Maneuver

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft executed its first Asteroid Approach Maneuver (AAM-1) today putting it on course for its scheduled arrival at the asteroid Bennu in December. The spacecraft’s main engine thrusters fired in a braking maneuver designed to slow the spacecraft’s speed relative to Bennu from approximately 1,100 mph (491 m/sec) to 313 mph (140 m/sec). …Read More

Share Button

NASA’s Asteroid Sample Return Mission Successfully Adjusts Course

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft fired its thrusters to position itself on the correct course for its upcoming Earth flyby. The spacecraft, which is on a two-year outbound journey to asteroid Bennu, successfully performed a precision course adjustment on Wednesday to prepare for the gravity slingshot on September 22. This trajectory correction maneuver was the first to …Read More

Share Button

Unexpected Discoveries On A Metal World

Astronomers have discovered possible evidence for water on the surface of the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system. Named 16 Psyche, the object is one of the most massive in the asteroid belt, measuring 186 miles across and consisting of almost pure nickel-iron metal. It is thought to be the remnant core of a …Read More

Share Button

Sulfur, Sulfur Dioxide And Graphitized Carbon Observed On Asteroid For First Time

Hubble Space Telescope observations of the dwarf planet Ceres have discovered the first evidence of sulfur, sulfur dioxide and graphitized carbon found on an asteroid. The sulfur species are likely associated with regions of recent activity, reports Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Amanda Hendrix. The discoveries were made by comparing Ceres’ ultraviolet-visible spectra to laboratory …Read More

Share Button

NASA To Hold Asteroid Mission Briefings, Launch

NASA is gearing up to launch the United States’ first mission to sample an asteroid, with activities at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning Tuesday, September 6, and culminating with the spacecraft launch Thursday, September 8. Various activities are open to media and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. …Read More

Share Button

Bennu: How A Little Asteroid Became A Rock Star

July 7, 2016 – Carl Hergenrother fingers a stack of white, 8½- by 11-inch paper that sits before him on his desk. As he flips through the inch-thick dossier, lines of type are clearly visible. “This is everything we know about Bennu,” said Hergenrother, glancing down at the pile of paper. Hergenrother is a staff …Read More

Share Button

Gamers Tackle Virtual Asteroid Sampling Mission

OSIRIS-REx Project Scientist Jason Dworkin challenged players of the popular online game Kerbal Space Program to replicate NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. Gamers will use the virtual tools and supplies provided by the game to construct their own OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (also known as the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer), collect an asteroid sample, and return …Read More

Share Button