CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NASA SPACECRAFT
It has been ten years since the OSIRIS team first came together to develop an Asteroid Sample Return Mission concept for the NASA Discovery Program. Now, as the OSIRIS-REx team, we are the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. With the successful completion of the Mission Critical Design Review (CDR), our focus now turns to implementation. We can now begin building the spacecraft and instrumentation, as proposed and approved.
Leading the OSIRIS-REx team is the principal investigator, Dante Lauretta, from theUniversity of Arizona. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will provide overall mission management; systems engineering and safety; and mission assurance.Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver will build and operate the spacecraft, while NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, manages the New Frontiers Program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
OSIRIS-REx is scheduled for launch in the Fall of 2016. The spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023. The budget for the mission is just over $800 million plus the cost of the launch vehicle.