NASA's Asteroid Sample Return Mission Moves into Development
NASA's first mission to sample an asteroid is moving ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in 2016.
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 plan."
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.
OSIRIS-REx begins its countdown to launch
OSIRIS-REx, the NASA asteroid mission being run by the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, is ramping up its public outreach as it prepares to launch — in about three years.
Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for the mission, started the mission’s three-digit countdown clock at “999” Monday at a ceremony at the Michael J. Drake Building near campus.
The $1 billion mission, which will investigate a potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid and return a pristine sample of it to Earth, already employees about 100 scientists, technicians and students in Arizona and will staff up to 400 worldwide at its peak.
It is set to launch during a 39-day window that begins Sept. 4, 2016.
It will rendezvous with a 500-meter-diameter asteroid named Bennu in October 2019 and spend up to 500 days mapping its features and analyzing its composition before grabbing a small sample and returning it to Earth.
The return date is planned for September 2023.
The mission is undergoing its critical design review. The team, with members at Arizona State University, the Canadian Space Agency, MIT and Lockheed Martin has built working models of the cameras and instruments.
The suite of three cameras is being built at the UA.
The instruments are being subjected to “shaking and baking” tests that mimic the stresses of launch, Lauretta said.
Quelle: Arizona Daily Star
OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission Passes Important Design Review
DENVER, April 10, 2014 – NASA’s OSIRIS-REx program has successfully completed a comprehensive technical review of the mission and has been given approval to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system. Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] is responsible for development of the spacecraft, which will be the first U.S. mission sent to a near-Earth asteroid to collect and return samples.
This major milestone was achieved after a successful mission critical design review (CDR) for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. The review was performed by an independent review board, comprised of experts from NASA and several external organizations, that validated the detailed design of the spacecraft, instruments and ground system.
“Passing CDR is a significant milestone in our program,” said Rich Kuhns, program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “We have now completed the spacecraft design and are transitioning into fabrication as we prepare for the assembly, test and launch operations phase of the mission.”
OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2016, rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2018 and spend a year of reconnaissance at the asteroid, before collecting a sample of at least 2 ounces (60 grams) and returning it to Earth for scientists to study in 2023.
“The OSIRIS-REx team has consistently demonstrated its ability to present a comprehensive mission design that meets all requirements within the resources provided by NASA,” said principal investigator Dante Lauretta, from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. “Mission CDR was no exception. This is a great team. I know we will build a flight and ground system that is up to the challenges of this ambitious mission.”
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will provide overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. The University of Arizona leads the effort and provides the camera system and science processing and operations center. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver will build the spacecraft, the sampling and Earth-return system, and perform spacecraft mission operations. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed by the Marshall Spaceflight Center.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.
The OSIRIS-REx critical design review was held by an independent review board at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver. The board validated the detailed design of the spacecraft, instruments and ground system.
Quelle: Lockheed Martin
UA Gets NASA OK to Move Ahead with Mission to Asteroid
University of Arizona scientists leading a planned NASA mission to an asteroid passed the space agency’s latest mission review this week.
The mission, known as OSIRIS REx, will target an asteroid known as Bennu.
Approval came Thursday after an independent NASA panel review of the mission was completed at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver.
“It’s actually NASA’s chance to come in and tell us how well the design is done," said Richard Kuhns, flight systems manager for Lockheed Martin, which is building the spacecraft. "Do you have enough confidence in the design that they should pay to have it built?”
With the approval, Kuhns said Lockheed Martin moves into construction phase.
“We turn on the build and we start building hardware, stuffing circuit cards, cutting metal, and getting ready to bolt it all together,” he said.
Kuhns said the few requests for changes from the review panel will help get the spacecraft prepared for its scheduled launch in September 2016.
OSIRIS-REx would map the asteroid’s surface and bring a sample back to Earth by 2023. Scientists say the mission will help uncover clues to the origins of the solar system and of life.
NASA Invites Public to Submit Messages for Asteroid Mission Time Capsule
NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission launches Asteroid Time Capsule -- a mission to collect ideas from the public about space exploration 10 years from now.
NASA is inviting the worldwide public to submit short messages and images on social media that could be placed in a time capsule aboard a spacecraft launching to an asteroid in 2016.
Called the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx), the spacecraft will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2019, collect a sample and return the cache in a capsule to Earth in 2023 for detailed study. The robotic mission will spend more than two years at the 1,760-foot (500-meter)-wide asteroid and return a minimum of 2 ounces (60 grams) of its surface material.
Topics for submissions by the public should be about solar system exploration in 2014 and predictions for space exploration activities in 2023. The mission team will choose 50 tweets and 50 images to be placed in the capsule. Messages can be submitted Sept. 2 - 30.
"Our progress in space exploration has been nothing short of amazing," says Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona, Tucson. "I look forward to the public taking their best guess at what the next 10 years holds and then comparing their predictions with actual missions in development in 2023."
This event is the second of NASA’s efforts to engage space enthusiasts around the world in the OSIRIS-REx mission, following the agency’s January invitation to participate in Messages to Bennu, which asked the public to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard the spacecraft.
"It is exciting to think that some people may formulate predictions then have the chance to help make their prediction a reality over the next decade," said Jason Dworkin, OSIRIS-REx project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
When the sample return capsule returns to Earth in 2023 with the asteroid material, the mission team will open the time capsule to view the messages and images, at which time the selected submissions will be posted online at:
"OSIRIS-REx has to take many years to perform a complex asteroid sample return," said Bruce Betts, the director of science and technology at The Planetary Society in Pasadena, California, a public outreach partner on the asteroid mission. "A time capsule capitalizes on the long duration of the mission to engage the public in thinking about space exploration -- where are we now, and where will we be."
The OSIRIS-REx mission is focused on finding answers to basic questions about the composition of the very early solar system and the source of organic materials and water that made life possible on Earth. The mission also will contribute to NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and support the agency's efforts to understand the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects and characterize those suitable for future asteroid exploration missions.
NASA's ARM is a first-ever mission to identify, capture and redirect a near-Earth asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon, where astronauts will explore it in the 2020s, and return with samples. The mission will advance the new technologies and spaceflight experience needed for humans to explore Mars in the 2030s.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will provide overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance. The University of Arizona, 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, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Und CENAP ist dabei...
OSIRIS-REx ASTEROID SAMPLE RETURN MISSION im Timline Focus:
The OSIRIS-REx mission’s main hydrazine tank was integrated with the spacecraft’s structure at Lockheed Martin’s Denver facility in December 2014. Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin
A NASA spacecraft under construction for launch in 2016 to retrieve samples from asteroid Bennu could benefit from an extra load of fuel, allowing an extended stay at the asteroid or a return to Earth a year early.
The $1 billion OSIRIS-REx mission is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral on Sept. 3, 2016, and a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will send the probe on a two-year voyage to asteroid Bennu, a near-Earth object scientists say is made of primitive material from the ancient solar system.
The specimens collected from Bennu could help researchers better understand how the solar system’s planets formed, and the material might contain the building blocks of life.
Engineers have come up with a plan to fill OSIRIS-REx with more hydrazine fuel, giving the spacecraft more propulsive ability on its interplanetary journey, according to Dante Lauretta, the mission’s principal investigator at the University of Arizona.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, being built at a Lockheed Martin facility in Denver, is coming in lighter than the lift capability of the Atlas 5 rocket, which will lift off in its “411” configuration with a four-meter payload fairing, a single-engine Centaur upper stage, and one strap-on solid rocket booster.
The proposal — described as a “heavy launch option” — would add an extra 341 pounds of fuel to the spacecraft’s fuel tank.
“We are still planning to launch on the Atlas 5-411,” Lauretta wrote in an email to Spaceflight Now. “The heavy launch option is a project-level decision based on increased confidence in our dry mass value.”
The “411” version of the Atlas 5 rocket can lift up to 4,651 pounds of mass on the trajectory needed for the OSIRIS-REx mission, and the spacecraft is currently projected to weigh about 4,310 pounds when fueled for launch.
“Our main propellant tank has the additional capacity to accommodate the extra 155 kilograms of propellant — enabling both an early return and a late departure option from Bennu,” Lauretta said.
A final decision on whether to fuel OSIRIS-REx with more propellant is still a couple of months away, according to Bill Cutlip, the mission’s launch vehicle manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
“The final decision will not be made until the spacecraft dry mass is measured and we receive the final performance evaluation from ULA,” Lauretta siad. “Once in space, we can make the decision to return early or depart late after arrival at Bennu.”
NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, is due to arrive at asteroid Bennu in late 2018 after a gravity slingshot flyby of Earth in 2017. After a close-up survey of the asteroid, scientists will select a sampling site where the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will descend and snag a specimen of rock and dust from Bennu’s surface.
The mission’s original flight plan called for OSIRIS-REx to depart Bennu in March 2021 and cruise back to Earth, deploying a landing capsule containing the samples to parachute to touchdown in Utah in September 2023.
In a presentation last month to NASA’s Small Bodies Assessment Group, Lauretta said navigators on the ground could use the extra propellant to keep OSIRIS-REx near asteroid Bennu longer than planned, and still return to Earth as scheduled in 2023.
OSIRIS-REx could also leave Bennu in January 2020 and make it back to Earth a year early in late 2022. Lauretta pitched the idea as a chance to reduce the mission’s risk and enable an early start to the analysis of the asteroid’s samples.
Under the current plan, OSIRIS-REx will loiter near asteroid Bennu for two-and-half years. More than 500 days of the timeline is set aside as margin for bonus scientific observations or in case the mission encounters problems.
NASA's groundbreaking science mission to retrieve a sample from an ancient space rock has moved closer to fruition. The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has passed a critical milestone in its path towards launch and is officially authorized to transition into its next phase.
Key Decision Point-D (KDP-D) occurs after the project has completed a series of independent reviews that cover the technical health, schedule and cost of the project. The milestone represents the official transition from the mission’s development stage to delivery of systems, testing and integration leading to launch. During this part of the mission’s life cycle, known as Phase D, the spacecraft bus, or the structure that will carry the science instruments, is completed, the instruments are integrated into the spacecraft and tested, and the spacecraft is shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the rocket.
“This is an exciting time for the OSIRIS-REx team,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for OSIRIS-Rex at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “After almost four years of intense design efforts, we are now proceeding with the start of flight system assembly. I am grateful for the hard work and team effort required to get us to this point.”
OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. mission to return samples from an asteroid to Earth. The spacecraft will travel to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and bring at least a 60-gram (2.1-ounce) sample back to Earth for study. OSIRIS-REx carries five instruments that will remotely evaluate the surface of Bennu. The mission will help scientists investigate the composition of the very early solar system and the source of organic materials and water that made their way to Earth, and improve understanding of asteroids that could impact our planet.
OSIRIS-REx is scheduled for launch in late 2016. The spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023.
"The spacecraft structure has been integrated with the propellant tank and propulsion system and is ready to begin system integration in the Lockheed Martin highbay,” said Mike Donnelly, OSIRIS-REx project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The payload suite of cameras and sensors is well into its environmental test phase and will be delivered later this summer/fall.”
The key decision meeting was held at NASA Headquarters in Washington on March 30 and chaired by NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
On March 27, assembly, launch and test operations officially began at Lockheed Martin in Denver. These operations represent a critical stage of the program when the spacecraft begins to take form, culminating with its launch. Over the next several months, technicians will install the subsystems on the main spacecraft structure, comprising avionics, power, telecomm, thermal systems, and guidance, navigation and control.
The next major milestone is the Mission Operations Review, scheduled for completion in June. The project will demonstrate that its navigation, planning, commanding, and science operations requirements are complete.
The mission's principal investigator is at the University of Arizona, Tucson. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will provide overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in 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, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for the agency's Science Mission Directorate.
OSIRIS-REx complements NASA's Asteroid Initiative, which aligns portions of the agency's science, space technology and human exploration capabilities in a coordinated asteroid research effort. The initiative will conduct research and analysis to better characterize and mitigate the threat these space rocks pose to our home planet.
Included in the initiative is NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), a robotic spacecraft mission that will capture a boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable orbit around the moon for exploration by astronauts, all in support of advancing the nation’s journey to Mars. The agency also is engaging new industrial capabilities, partnerships, open innovation and participatory exploration through the NASA Asteroid Initiative.
NASA also has made tremendous progress in the cataloging and characterization of near Earth objects over the past five years. The president's NASA budget included, and Congress authorized, $20.4 million for an expanded NASA Near-Earth Object (NEO) Observations Program, increasing the resources for this critical program from the $4 million per year it had received since the 1990s. The program was again expanded in fiscal year 2014, with a budget of $40.5 million. NASA is asking Congress for $50 million for this important work in the 2016 budget.
NASA has identified more than 12,000 NEOs to date, including 96 percent of near-Earth asteroids larger than 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) in size. NASA has not detected any objects of this size that pose an impact hazard to Earth in the next 100 years. Smaller asteroids do pass near Earth, however, and some could pose an impact threat. In 2011, 893 near-Earth asteroids were found. In 2014, that number was increased to 1,472.
In addition to NASA's ongoing work detecting and cataloging asteroids, the agency has engaged the public in the hunt for these space rocks through the agency's Asteroid Grand Challenge activities, including prize competitions. During the recent South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, the agency announced the release of a software application based on an algorithm created by a NASA challenge that has the potential to increase the number of new asteroid discoveries by amateur astronomers.
Lockheed Martin Begins Final Assembly of NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft
In a clean room facility near Denver, Lockheed Martin technicians began assembling NASA's OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft that will collect samples of an asteroid.
pacecraft to Collect and Return Samples of Asteroid Back to Earth for Study
DENVER, March 31, 2015 – In a clean room facility near Denver, Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] technicians began assembling a NASA spacecraft that will collect samples of an asteroid for scientific study. Working toward a September 2016 launch, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will be the first U.S. mission to return samples from an asteroid back to Earth.
OSIRIS-REx – which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer – is going to Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid that could hold clues to the origin of the solar system and host organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth.
The assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO) phase is a critical stage of the program because it is when the spacecraft physically comes together. Over the next six months, technicians will install on the spacecraft structure its many subsystems, including avionics, power, telecomm, mechanisms, thermal systems, and guidance, navigation and control.
“Building a spacecraft that will bring back samples from an asteroid is a unique opportunity,” said Rich Kuhns, OSIRIS-REx program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “We can feel the momentum to launch building. We’re installing the electronics in the next few weeks and shortly after we’ll power-on the spacecraft for the first time.”
During ATLO the science instruments are being delivered from the mission’s partner institutions to be integrated with the spacecraft. Once the spacecraft has been fully assembled, it will undergo rigorous environmental testing this fall.
“ATLO is a turning point in the progress of our mission. After almost four years of intense design efforts, we are now starting flight system assembly and integration of the science instruments,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator from the University of Arizona, Tucson. “In just over 500 days, we will begin our seven-year journey to Bennu and back. This is an exciting time.”
On March 30, the OSIRIS-REx project officially received authorization to transition into the next phase of the mission, Phase D, after completing a series of independent reviews verifying that the program’s technical, schedule and cost elements are all on course.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will provide overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Lockheed Martin is building the spacecraft and will provide spacecraft mission operations. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.
Quelle: Lockheed Martin
OSIRIS-REx Team Prepares for Next Step in NASA’s Asteroid Sample Return Mission
With launch only 15 months away, NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) team is preparing to deliver instruments for integration with the spacecraft that will travel to, and collect a sample from, an asteroid.
“This is an exciting time for the project,” said Mike Donnelly, OSIRIS-REx project manager from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Years of effort are coming to culmination with the upcoming deliveries of the instruments to the spacecraft.”
OSIRIS-REx will travel to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and bring a small sample back to Earth for study. The mission is scheduled for launch in September 2016. The spacecraft will reach its asteroid target in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023.
The spacecraft will carry five instruments from national and international partners. These instruments will be key to mapping and analyzing Bennu’s surface and will be critical in identifying a site from which a sample can be safely retrieved and ultimately returned to Earth.
The OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS) consists of three cameras that will image the asteroid Bennu during approach and proximity operations. The University of Arizona designed and built OCAMS.
The OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) will scan Bennu to map the entire asteroid surface, producing local and global topographic maps. OLA is a contributed instrument from the Canadian Space Agency.
The OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) will conduct surveys to map mineral and chemical abundances and to take Bennu’s temperature. OTES is provided by Arizona State University.
The OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) measures visible and infrared light from Bennu, which can be used to identify water and organic materials. The instrument is provided by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
A student experiment called the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) will map elemental abundances on the asteroid. REXIS is a collaboration between the students and faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
“These instruments are essential to accomplishing the mission’s science goals and unlocking the secrets of Bennu,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for OSIRIS-Rex at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “I am proud of the dedication to excellence that each of our instrument teams brings to this mission, and I look forward to all that we will discover at the asteroid.”
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland provides overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Dante Lauretta is the mission's principal investigator at the University of Arizona. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver is building the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama manages New Frontiers for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.