back to article Asteroid-sampling spacecraft prepped for September launch

NASA's improbably acronmyed* "Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security – Regolith Explorer" (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft has arrived at Florida's Kennedy Space Center ahead of a September launch on an asteroid-sampling mission. OSIRIS-REx will travel to near-Earth asteroid Bennu, arriving in 2018, and …

  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    .... how gravity and thermal forces will affect its future trajectory.

    And of course nudging it with a robotic sampler arm. It'd be funny if that slight deflection turned out to be the difference between "very near miss" and "oops, there goes Vienna".....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "oops, there goes Vienna".....

      /sings "Oh, Vienna."

      1. Snow Hill Island

        Re: "oops, there goes Vienna".....

        Reviews of the video footage of the destruction of Vienna will show that it was, in fact, Birmingham which was destroyed, much to the relief of anyone who has had to change trains in a hurry in the recently renovated New Street Station.

      2. breakfast

        Re: "oops, there goes Vienna".....

        This means nothing to me.

  2. DocJames


    Spacecraft is going to rendezvous with asteroid, scan it for a bit, scoop a little up then return to Earth. And the story is tucked away for just the geeks, because it's not newsy enough.

    We are living in a science fiction world, and it makes me happy.

    1. Brandon 2

      Re: Awesome

      Speaking of tucked away and not newsy enough...The Japanese did this years ago... from wikipedia: " In November 2005, it landed on the asteroid and collected samples in the form of tiny grains of asteroidal material, which were returned to Earth aboard the spacecraft on 13 June 2010."

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Awesome

      We've landed a probe on a comet. As far as most news organisations are concerned that's the new bar for public interest. Sticking something on an asteroid is obviously simple by comparison therefore not noteworthy.

      Which is bollocks because this is going to do some brilliant science if it all comes off as planned.

      Also: top backronyming.

  3. Ugotta B. Kiddingme
    Thumb Up

    flappy bird... er, space probe?

    The pictures, especially that first one in the article make the solar panels look like flapping wings. This, for me at least, increases the nerd-cool factor considerably.

  4. Geoff May

    Elegantly simple: TAGSAM. Pic: NASA

    That picture looks like he's got a cigarette in his mouth.

  5. Marcus Fil

    Just a thought..

    "Once the sampler head makes contact with the surface of Bennu, a burst of pure nitrogen gas will push surface regolith into the sampler’s chamber freeze the sucker to the surface until the Sun burns helium."

    Aliens, because they might help.

    1. Seajay#

      Re: Just a thought..

      On earth a burst of cold nitrogen gas doesn't freeze things directly, it freezes the moisture on the two surfaces and it's the freezing of that water which sticks them together.

      On an asteroid, I don't see this being an issue.

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    We live in interesting times

    But in this case, in a good way.

    I'll raise a glass to OSIRIS-REx, and the team behind it

  7. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    I can't help feeling

    That this mission will come back to haunt us.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can't help feeling

      yep, just a smaaallll touch now that swats a butterfly and in 500 years will force us to take Bruce Willis out of cryo for his final mission.

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