[meteorite-list] NASA Invites Public to Submit Messages for Asteroid Mission Time Capsule (OSIRIS-REx)

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2014 10:33:40 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201409021733.s82HXeuX013302_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

September 2, 2014
NASA Invites Public to Submit Messages for Asteroid Mission Time Capsule

NASA is inviting the worldwide public to submit short messages and images on
social media that could be placed in a time capsule aboard a spacecraft
launching to an asteroid in 2016.

Called the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource
Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx), the spacecraft will
rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2019, collect a sample and return the
cache in a capsule to Earth in 2023 for detailed study. The robotic mission
will spend more than two years at the 1,760-foot (500-meter)-wide asteroid
and return a minimum of 2 ounces (60 grams) of its surface material.

Topics for submissions by the public should be about solar system exploration
in 2014 and predictions for space exploration activities in 2023. The mission
team will choose 50 tweets and 50 images to be placed in the capsule.
Messages can be submitted Sept. 2 - 30.

"Our progress in space exploration has been nothing short of amazing," says
Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of
Arizona, Tucson. "I look forward to the public taking their best guess at
what the next 10 years holds and then comparing their predictions with actual
missions in development in 2023."

This event is the second of NASA's efforts to engage space enthusiasts
around the world in the OSIRIS-REx mission, following the agency's January
invitation to participate in Messages to Bennu, which asked the public to
submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard the spacecraft.

"It is exciting to think that some people may formulate predictions then have
the chance to help make their prediction a reality over the next decade,"
said Jason Dworkin, OSIRIS-REx project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

When the sample return capsule returns to Earth in 2023 with the asteroid
material, the mission team will open the time capsule to view the messages
and images, at which time the selected submissions will be posted online at:


"OSIRIS-REx has to take many years to perform a complex asteroid sample
return," said Bruce Betts, the director of science and technology at The
Planetary Society in Pasadena, California, a public outreach partner on the
asteroid mission. "A time capsule capitalizes on the long duration of the
mission to engage the public in thinking about space exploration -- where are
we now, and where will we be."

The OSIRIS-REx mission is focused on finding answers to basic questions about
the composition of the very early solar system and the source of organic
materials and water that made life possible on Earth. The mission also will
contribute to NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and support the
agency's efforts to understand the population of potentially hazardous
near-Earth objects and characterize those suitable for future asteroid
exploration missions.

NASA's ARM is a first-ever mission to identify, capture and redirect a
near-Earth asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon, where astronauts will
explore it in the 2020s, and return with samples. The mission will advance
the new technologies and spaceflight experience needed for humans to explore
Mars in the 2030s.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will provide overall mission management,
systems engineering and safety and mission assurance. The University of
Arizona, Tucson, is the principal investigator institution. Lockheed Martin
Space Systems of Denver will build the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third
mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for NASA's Science Mission
Directorate in Washington.

For details on procedures and rules for submitting a message and image,


More information is available online about Messages to Bennu, at:


For more about the OSIRIS-REx mission, visit:



Dwayne Brown / Trent Perrotto
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726 / 202-358-0321
dwayne.c.brown at nasa.gov / trent.j.perrotto at nasa.gov

Nancy Neal-Jones / William Steigerwald
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0039 / 301-286-5017
nancy.n.jones at nasa.gov / william.a.steigerwald at nasa.gov
Received on Tue 02 Sep 2014 01:33:40 PM PDT

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