[meteorite-list] NASA's Asteroid Sample Return Mission Moves into Development (OSIRIS-REx)

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 16 May 2013 09:34:43 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201305161634.r4GGYhtj028837_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

May 16, 2013

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown at nasa.gov

Nancy Neal Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center, Md.
nancy.n.jones at nasa.gov

RELEASE: 13-143


WASHINGTON -- NASA's first mission to sample an asteroid is moving
ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in

The Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security
Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) passed a confirmation review Wednesday
called Key Decision Point (KDP)-C. NASA officials reviewed a series
of detailed project assessments and authorized the spacecraft's
continuation into the development phase.

OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2018 and return
a sample of it to Earth in 2023.

"Successfully passing KDP-C is a major milestone for the project,"
said Mike Donnelly, OSIRIS-REx project manager at NASA's Goddard
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "This means NASA believes we
have an executable plan to return a sample from Bennu. It now falls
on the project and its development team members to execute that

Bennu could hold clues to the origin of the solar system. OSIRIS-REx
will map the asteroid's global properties, measure non-gravitational
forces and provide observations that can be compared with data
obtained by telescope observations from Earth. OSIRIS-REx will
collect a minimum of 2 ounces (60 grams) of surface material.

"The entire OSIRIS-REx team has worked very hard to get to this
point," said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the
University of Arizona in Tucson. "We have a long way to go before we
arrive at Bennu , but I have every confidence when we do, we will
have built a supremely capable system to return a sample of this
primitive asteroid."

The mission will be a vital part of NASA's plans to find, study,
capture and relocate an asteroid for exploration by astronauts. NASA
recently announced an asteroid initiative proposing a strategy to
leverage human and robotic activities for the first human mission to
an asteroid while also accelerating efforts to improve detection and
characterization of asteroids.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. will provide
overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and
mission assurance. The University of Arizona in Tucson is the
principal investigator institution. Lockheed Martin Space Systems of
Denver will build the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in
NASA's New Frontiers Program. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, Ala., manages New Frontiers for NASA's Science Mission
Directorate in Washington.

For more information on OSIRIS-REx, visit:



Received on Thu 16 May 2013 12:34:43 PM PDT

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