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Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016 • 4

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

OSIRIS-REx’s cameras see first light

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016

As OSIRIS-REx speeds away from Earth, it’s been turning on and testing out its various engineering functions and science instruments. Proof of happy instrument status has come from several cameras, including the star tracker, MapCam, and StowCam.

OSIRIS-REx blazes into evening sky, starting journey to asteroid Bennu

Jason Davis • September 08, 2016 • 5

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is safely en route to asteroid Bennu following an evening liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Carrying names of 440,000 well-wishers, OSIRIS-REx ready for journey to Bennu and back

Jason Davis • September 07, 2016 • 7

OSIRIS-REx is ready to begin its journey to Bennu and back. The asteroid was named by a Planetary Society contest winner, and the spacecraft bears the names of 440,000 well-wishers.

OSIRIS-REx is on the launch pad, ready for the big day

Emily Lakdawalla • September 02, 2016 • 6

The OSIRIS-REx mission passed its flight readiness review yesterday, clearing the way for the spacecraft to launch on Thursday, September 8. Here's a schedule of next week's NASA TV briefings and a photo album of the launch preparations.

What's up in the solar system, September 2016 edition: OSIRIS-REx launches, Rosetta ends

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2016 • 1

The month of September begins with an annular solar eclipse visible from much of Africa on September 1. On or after September 8, we'll see OSIRIS-REx launch into a two-year cruise toward a rendezvous with asteroid Bennu. But September will close, sadly, with the end of the wonderful Rosetta mission.

OSIRIS-REx launch preview

Emily Lakdawalla • August 17, 2016 • 1

Launch day is coming for NASA's next interplanetary explorer! OSIRIS-REx is on schedule for launch on September 8, 2016 at 19:05 EDT (16:05 PDT, 23:05 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. OSIRIS-REx is the first NASA planetary launch since MAVEN in 2013, and will be the last until InSight in 2018.

Photos: OSIRIS-REx prepares for launch

Emily Lakdawalla • August 15, 2016

Only 24 days remain until the opening of OSIRIS-REx's launch period, and final preparations are underway. There is a lot to do in the final months before a launch, but things seem to be going well.

OSIRIS-REx shipped to Florida for September launch

Emily Lakdawalla • May 23, 2016 • 1

OSIRIS-REx's long journey to an asteroid has begun. The spacecraft departed Colorado on Friday, May 20, travelling aboard an Air Force C-17 to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.

Engineering an Impact on the New Frontier

Bradley Williams • April 21, 2016

Bradley Williams, Systems Engineer for the camera suite on NASA's OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission, details the path that led him to his current position.

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