OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Prepares For First U.S. Mission To Sample Asteroid Material

By  //  August 5, 2016

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Targeted for liftoff Sept. 8

Inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians and engineers inspect the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security –Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (NASA image)

Inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians and engineers inspect the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security –Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (NASA image)

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – Inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians and engineers inspect the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security –Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Targeted for a liftoff Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, OSIRIS-Rex will be the first U.S. mission to sample an asteroid, retrieve at least two ounces of surface material and return it to Earth for study.

The asteroid, Bennu, may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of water and organic molecules found on Earth.

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