Monday, April 23, 2012
OSIRIS-REx to Launch in 2016 to Asteroid
OSIRIS-REx (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer) is an approved NASA mission of about $1-billion designed to send an unmanned spacecraft to study and return a sample of asteroid 1999 RQ36, a carbonaceous asteroid, to Earth for detailed analyses in 2023.
Planetary scientist and former NASA astronaut Tom Jones, PhD, a leader in the newly formed private firm Planetry Resources, Inc., talked about this particular asteroid with Fox News about two years ago [video].
NASA has selected the University of Arizona to lead a sample-return mission to an asteroid. The team is led by Michael Drake, director of the UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. will manage the mission for NASA. Lockheed Martin is building the spacecraft.