NASA's first asteroid sampling mission, led by the University of Arizona, launched into space at 7:05 p.m. EDT Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, beginning a journey that could revolutionize our understanding of the early solar system.
After 12 years, the spacecraft for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission is finally off the ground, much to the relief of the scientist who has been there every step of the way, Dante Lauretta.
The UA-led OSIRIS-REx mission, conceived 12 years ago and finally green-lighted by NASA in 2011, is the first U.S. mission to send a robotic spacecraft to retrieve a sample from a primitive carbonaceous asteroid.
Meet UA alumna Daniella DellaGiustina, the lead image processing scientist for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. DellaGiustina wasn't planning on a career in planetary science but has become one of several key women on the project.
The countdown is on for Thursday, and the community is invited to the UA Mall to watch the launch of the first U.S. mission to bring back a sample from an asteroid. In addition, businesses near campus and in downtown Tucson will host events and promotions to celebrate the UA-led mission.
Combining images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope over more than 20 years, UA researchers discovered that Eta Carinae, a very massive star system, has a past that's much more violent than they thought.
The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory's annual open house had a buzz about it, with the launch of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft fast approaching in Florida. The mission represents "a turning of the corner" in the way that the planets are investigated, says deputy principal investigator Ed Beshore.