‘A Terrific Performance’

“What a terrific performance by the combined Atlas V team,” NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn told NASA Commentator Mike Curie after the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft separated from the Centaur upper stage, signifying the end of tonight’s launch and the start of the asteroid-sampler’s mission to Bennu.

“Not a single anomaly was worked during the countdown,” Dunn said. “That’s almost unheard of — it’s a launch director’s dream.”

He commended the spacecraft, rocket and launch teams whose thorough preparations led to a very successful countdown and launch, sending OSIRIS-REx off on its mission at the first launch opportunity at 7:05 p.m. tonight.

Second Coast Phase Continues

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft remains attached to the Centaur upper stage following the ride to space that began with liftoff from Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida at 7:05 p.m. EDT. The spacecraft is due to separate from the Centaur at about 8:04 p.m.

Coast Phase Continues

The Centaur and the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft are still joined as they continue in the first coast phase. It’s been 26 minutes since the Atlas V rocket carrying OSIRIS-REx lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. The Atlas V first stage performed well and handed off to the Centaur upper stage, which completed its first of two burns. The next is coming up.