Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Asteroid Sample Return Mission Selected
NASA announced the selection of the OSIRIS-REx near-Earth asteroid sample return for the next New Frontiers mission, beating out a Venus lander and a lunar sample return mission. Bruce Moomaw wrote about the OSIRIS-REx mission for this blog, and his description can be found here. There are also articles at Space News and at the Planetary Society's blog site. NASA press release site also includes a video (which I can't watch with my current slow internet while I'm traveling): http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/osiris-rex.html
With the two Japanese Hayabusa sample return missions (one completed and another in development), this means we'll have samples from three near-Earth asteroids. ESA is also considering its own near-Earth asteroid sample return, Marco Polo.
The press release itself is copied below. And congratulations to the winning team which submitted versions of this mission at least twice and I think perhaps three times.
Labels: Osiris-Rex Asteroid Proposal