OSIRIS-REx Mission Successfully Launches Towards Bennu.
On September 8th 2016 NASA and United Launch Alliance successfully launched the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) Asteroid Sampling Return Mission aboard an Atlas V rocket at 7:05 pm EST.
The Atlas V launched the OSIRIS-REx mission spacecraft into a hyperbolic trajectory away from Earth where it will begin a seven year mission to sample Bennu, a near by asteroid and return the sample back to Earth. Use the hashtag #ToBennuandBack on social media to learn more.
The OSIRIS-Rex mission spacecraft will reach its asteroid target in 2018 and return a sample back to Earth in 2023, according to NASA.
The mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 411 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter (13.1 feet) large Payload Fairing (PLF). The Atlas booster was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL 10A engine.
This was the eighth launch for ULA this year and the 111th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
Check out our other post where we photographed the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft before being encapsulated for launch.