OSIRIS-REx is full and can gather asteroid samples in 2016
It looks like solely yesterday that OSIRIS-REx received its first scientific instrument: a thermal emission spectrometer that may take the temp of an asteroid referred to as Bennu each two seconds. Now, Lockheed Martin is completed constructing the spacecraft, and NASA’s slated to ship it off to area in 2016 to gather samples from the close to-Earth asteroid. Earlier than it blasts off, although, the probe will bear extra rigorous testing as an entire spacecraft inside the subsequent 5 months. That features subjecting it to excessive temps, vibrations, electromagnetic interference and vacuum that simulate area journey.
We now transfer on to check all the flight system over the vary of environmental circumstances that might be skilled on the journey to Bennu and again. This part is important to mission success, and I’m assured that we’ve got constructed the appropriate system for the job.
If the spacecraft passes all of the checks Lauretta and his group have in retailer for it, then it’s going to be shipped off to NASA in Might to organize for its launch in September 2016. NASA’s hoping that the info and samples it collects may give them clues on the start of life on Earth. They’re additionally relying on it to assist them conjure up a strategy to cope with any asteroid that would hit our planet and to maintain us from going the best way of the dinosaur.
[Image credit: Lockheed Martin]