OSIRIS-REx Team: Two Ounces is Bennu-ful

The mission plan for OSIRIS-REx is to visit the asteroid Bennu and bring back anywhere from 2 ounces to 4.4 pounds of material. Since Bennu is carbon-rich, the scientists might discover the building blocks of life, the same building blocks that might have crashed into Earth and began the origin of life on Earth. But with such a wide span – two ounces to 4.4 pounds, I spoke to the OSIRIS-REx team about their secret goals and desires.

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OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta Explains Mission Profile

At a pair of media events leading up to the September 8, 2016 launch of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, we had a chance to discuss the mission profile with Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta. Lauretta is a Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. He is the P.I. for OSIRIS-REx and the guy who coined the acronym: Origins, Spectral Integration, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith EXplorer. True, the goal of the spacecraft is to send a 2 ounce to 4 pound sample of asteroid Bennu back to Earth on September 24, 2023. But a lot has to happen between now and that point.

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