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Posts Tagged ‘OSIRIS-REx’

Student Asteroid Naming Contest Announced

September 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Students around the world have the opportunity to suggest names for an asteroid that will be visited by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft later this decade.

Scheduled for launch in 2016, the OSIRIS-REx mission will return the first samples ever taken from a special type of asteroid holding clues to the origin of the solar system and likely organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth.

“Our mission will be focused on 1999 RQ36 for more than a decade, and we look forward to having a name that is easier to say than (101955) 1999 RQ36,” said OSIRIS REx principal investigator Dante Lauretta.

Full Story: http://www.planetary.org/press-room/releases/2012/0904-student-asteroid-naming.html

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OSIRIS-REx Scientists Measure Yarkovsky Effect


Scientists with the University of Arizona-led asteroid sample return mission OSIRIS-REx have measured the orbit of their destination asteroid, 1999 RQ36, with such accuracy they were able to directly determine the drift resulting from a subtle but important force called the Yarkovsky effect – the slight push created when the asteroid absorbs sunlight and re-emits that energy as heat.

The new orbit for the half-kilometer (one-third mile) diameter 1999 RQ36 is the most precise asteroid orbit ever obtained, OSIRIS-REx team member Steven Chesley of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said. He presented the findings May 19 at the Asteroids, Comets and Meteors 2012 meeting in Niigata, Japan.

Full Story: http://uanews.org/node/47370

Last Look at Asteroid Planned Before OSIRIS-REx Launch

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Every six years, asteroid 1999 RQ36 nears the Earth — by cosmic standards — and researchers are launching a global observation campaign to learn as much as possible in preparation for the OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S.-led mission to bring back a sample of pristine asteroid material.

Astronomers working on the U.S.’ first asteroid-sample return mission – the NASA mission named OSIRIS-REx – have begun a months-long observing campaign that is the last chance to study their target asteroid from Earth before the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launches in 2016.

OSIRIS-REx is a quest to bring back to Earth a good-sized sample of an asteroid unaltered since solar system formation – a sample that very well could contain molecules that seeded life.

Full Story: http://uanews.org/node/41796