Televised Briefings Today; Forecast Favors Thursday Launch

Launch week has arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is slated to lift off Thursday, Sept. 8, sending the agency’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to the asteroid Bennu. Liftoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41. Learn more about this ambitious mission.

Forecasters with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron are predicting an 80 percent of “go” weather at launch time, with the possibility of cumulus clouds as the main concern.

Officials are holding a Launch Readiness Review today to ensure the spacecraft and rocket are prepared for this week’s activities. This afternoon, NASA will hold two briefings at Kennedy. Both briefings will air live on NASA TV. Events and participants are:

1 p.m. – Prelaunch mission briefing at the Kennedy Press Site

  • Geoffrey Yoder, acting associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington
  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Tim Dunn, NASA launch manager at Kennedy
  • Scott Messer, program manager for NASA missions at ULA in Centennial, Colorado
  • Michael Donnelly, OSIRIS-REx project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Rich Kuhns, OSIRIS-REx program manager for Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver
  • Clay Flinn, launch weather officer for the 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

2 p.m. – OSIRIS-REx mission science briefing at the Kennedy Press Site

  • Christina Richey, OSIRIS-REx deputy program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Jason Dworkin, OSIRIS-REx project scientist at Goddard
  • Daniella DellaGiustina, OSIRIS-REx lead image processing scientist at the University of Arizona, Tucson