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Emily LakdawallaAugust 15, 2016

Photos: OSIRIS-REx prepares for launch

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, according to what I can see from the NASA Kennedy photo album and principal investigator Dante Lauretta's Twitter feed. There is a televised briefing scheduled for Wednesday. Here are just a few photos and bits of news from the last several weeks:

Inspecting the inside of the OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule

NASA / Kim Shiflett

Inspecting the inside of the OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule
Taken inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center on July 13, 2016, during testing of the sample return capsule door.

Covering OSIRIS-REx in blankets

NASA / Michelle Stone

Covering OSIRIS-REx in blankets
On July 27, 2016, technicians install thermal blankets on OSIRIS-REx. The multilayered material will insulate the spacecraft's interior from both hot and cold temperatures experienced in space.

OSIRIS-REx's Centaur

NASA / Cory Huston

OSIRIS-REx's Centaur
The Centaur upper stage of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket arrives inside the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on July 21, 2016.

Another milestone for @OSIRISREx - We are "Go" to load the rocket fuel onto the Spacecraft!

— Dante Lauretta (@DSLauretta) August 3, 2016

OSIRIS-REx's rocket is lifted into position

NASA / Glenn Benson

OSIRIS-REx's rocket is lifted into position
On August 8, 2016, the first stage of the Atlas V rocket that will send OSIRIS-REx to space was raised to a vertical position at Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The @OSIRISREx solar panels have been installed for flight - the last mechanical installation for the spacecraft pic.twitter.com/BrLNu30RvJ

— Dante Lauretta (@DSLauretta) August 9, 2016

The Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) was mated to the @OSIRISREx Atlas V first stage yesterday. We are flying a 411 configuration with a single SRM.

— Dante Lauretta (@DSLauretta) August 10, 2016

Read more: mission status, OSIRIS-REx

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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