OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Encapsulated, Atlas V Rocket Tanking Test Planned

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, foreground, is prepared for encapsulation in its payload fairing, visible in the backgroundNASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft comes one step closer to launch today as it is sealed inside the two-piece payload fairing that will protect it during the critical early minutes of liftoff. This process, called encapsulation, is taking place inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at Kennedy Space Center, where OSIRIS-REx has undergone prelaunch processing since its arrival in Florida in May.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will boost OSIRIS-REx into space also is progressing toward launch day. The first-stage booster and its Centaur upper stage are in place at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where a tanking test is planned for Thursday.

Early Monday morning, the payload fairing containing OSIRIS-REx will roll from the PHSF to the launch pad, where it will be mated to the Atlas V.

Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson