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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

OSIRIS-REx Passes EMI/EMC Testing

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has completed the Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMI/EMC) system level test.

How REXIS Made It on OSIRIS-REx

The OSIRIS-REx instrument team has successfully installed the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) on the spacecraft. However, there is more to the story of how REXIS made it onto the spacecraft.

OSIRIS-REx Completes Mechanical Environmental Testing

The OSIRIS-REx team successfully and safely completed sine vibration (sine vibe) testing on the spacecraft prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The sine vibe tests are designed to verify the system performs as expected after being exposed to flight-like low frequency vibration input.

OSIRIS-REx Progressing Through Environmental Testing

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to make steady progress toward launch in September 2016. Environmental testing is now underway to ensure the spacecraft is ready for the many conditions it will experience over its mission.

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Assembly Nearly Complete

The OSIRIS-REx mission continues to make great progress and is in the Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase of the program. There's been many great accomplishments leading up to this point.

Xtronaut – A New Approach to Education and Public Outreach

Historically, NASA missions set aside a portion of their budgets for education and public outreach, or EPO. However, the OSIRIS-REx EPO budget got deleted in 2013 as part of a broader federal policy change. Dante Lauretta decided to make a run at a private company to recover the lost OSIRIS-REx EPO program – and Xtronaut was born!

Populating the OSIRIS-REx Science Deck

The assembly of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues, with many elements integrated onto the spacecraft ahead of schedule. Last month both OTES and OVIRS were delivered to Lockheed Martin and installed on the science deck.

Development of the OSIRIS-REx Sampling System: TAGSAM and the SRC

The OSIRIS-REx team has been busy assembling and testing the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) and the Sample Return Capsule (SRC).

OSIRIS-REx Begins ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations)

The OSIRIS-REx mission passed another major milestone. We now have approval to build the spacecraft.

Planet Formation and the Origin of Life

To understand the possible distribution of life in the Universe it is important to study planet formation and evolution. These processes are recorded in the chemistry and mineralogy of asteroids and comets, and in the geology of ancient planetary surfaces in our Solar System.

The YORP Effect and Bennu

The YORP effect is a phenomenon that affects the rotation rate and pole orientation of an asteroid. YORP is an acronym that combines four scientist’s names: Yarkovsky, O’Keefe, Radzievskii, and Paddack.

The Science of “Bennu’s Journey”

The OSIRIS-REx project released Bennu’s Journey, a movie describing one possible history of our target asteroid – Bennu. The animation is among the most highly detailed productions created by Goddard’s Conceptual Image Laboratory.

The Art of Planetary Science

On October 17-19, 2014, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on the University of Arizona campus hosted the second annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. This exhibition featured works of art inspired by the solar system, alongside works by scientists created from their scientific data.

Collaboration Between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2

The University of Arizona (UA) hosted representatives of the Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission to explore opportunities for collaboration with the OSIRIS-REx team.

All That is Known About Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Asteroid (DRA) document is now available to the public. The DRA is a compilation of all that is known about the OSIRIS-REx mission target, asteroid (101955) Bennu.

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Passes First Major Qualification Test

The development of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues to make great progress having recently completed static load testing.

The Osirian Asteroid Family

The asteroid community recently gathered in Helsinki, Finland for the 12th Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference. As this meeting showed, one of the hottest topics in asteroid science is the study of asteroid families.

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Mission

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.

The construction of OSIRIS-REx has begun!

The construction of OSIRIS-REx has begun! Seeing the core structure being assembled demonstrated that OSIRIS-REx is no longer just a set of drawings and PowerPoint charts, it is starting to become a real spacecraft.

Highlights From OSIRIS-REx Science Team Meeting #6

The OSIRIS-REx Science Team gathered at the University of Arizona from April 22–24, 2014 for their sixth meeting. Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta discusses a few of the highlights.

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