Launch Day for OSIRIS-REx

OSIRIS-REx rollout to the Pad 41 for the upcoming launch.Forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions for launch of the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 7:05 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA Television starts coverage of launch events at 3:30 p.m. with the NASA Edge live broadcast, followed by live views of Space Launch Complex 41accompanied by countdown net audio.

Countdown coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. here on the OSIRIS-REx blog and on NASA Television.

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

On the Pad at Space Launch Complex 41

OSIRIS-REx rollout to the Pad 41 for the upcoming launch.The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket made the trek from the Vertical Integration Facility to Space Launch Complex 41 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday. Atop the rocket, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is sealed in the protective payload fairing. Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7:05 p.m. EDT. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

If you’re in the central Florida area and wondering how to view the launch, check out this page for a list of popular launch viewing locations.

How Were OSIRIS-REx and Atlas V Prepped for Flight?

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will be boosted into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. The U.S.’s first mission to sample an asteroid, OSIRIS-REx will travel to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.

Learn how this pioneering spacecraft and the Atlas V were readied for flight:

OSIRIS-REx NASA Social, Asteroid Briefing to be Televised

The forecast for launch of the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft remains 80 percent “go” atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 7:05 p.m. EDT Thursday from Space Launch Complex 41 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Today, NASA will air two OSIRIS-REx events on NASA TV. Social media followers may ask questions during both using #askNASA.

Noon to 1 p.m. – OSIRIS-REx NASA Social

NASA will host a discussion with representatives from the mission’s science and engineering teams that includes an overview of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and the science behind the mission. This event will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.

1 to 2 p.m. – Uncovering the Secrets of Asteroids Briefing

During this panel at OSB II, NASA scientists will discuss asteroids, how they relate to the origins of our solar system, and the search for life beyond Earth. Panelists are:

  • Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist
  • Michelle Thaller, deputy director of science communications for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
  • Lindley Johnson, director of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
  • Alex Young, associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at Goddard

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

Teams Rehearse OSIRIS-REx Launch Countdown

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, enclosed in a payload fairing, is positioned atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Aug. 29, 2016Launch and mission controllers are at their consoles this afternoon in a dress rehearsal for the upcoming launch of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Goddard Space Flight Center, United Launch Alliance and Lockheed Martin all are participating in today’s test.

OSIRIS-REx is sealed inside the payload fairing and already in place atop the rocket at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch team is based at the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center a few miles south of the launch site.

Photo credit: NASA/ Dimitri Gerondidakis

OSIRIS-REx Passes Flight Readiness Review

Launch and mission officials gathered this morning for the OSIRIS-REx Flight Readiness Review and concluded that there are no issues or concerns that would preclude continuing to target launch next Thursday, Sept. 8. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is planned for 7:05 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 on Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Atlas V, including the payload fairing containing the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, is in place at the pad, where vehicle closeouts have started. The spacecraft on-pad functional test will be completed today. A launch countdown dress rehearsal is set for Friday afternoon.

The Launch Readiness Review planned for Tuesday, Sept. 6 will be the final prelaunch readiness check before teams proceed with the countdown.