A ULA Atlas V rocket successfully launched a spacecraft to an asteroid. The mission is about retrieving a sample to bring back to Earth for study. This is the launch of spacecraft Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) from NASA. The name was chosen in reference to the Egyptian God Osiris, the lord of the dead roaming the underworld. This name was selected for the mission because Bennu, in the event of an Earth impact, would bring vast destruction and death. Rex is the Latin word for King.
The target is the asteroid Bennu, a dark, unexplored, carbon-rich world 1600 feet across that orbits near Earth and grazes past at lunar distance every 6 years. OSIRIS-REx will arrive in the vicinity of Bennu in October 2018.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was launched on Thursday Sep 8 at 19:05 EDT from Cape Canaveral Complex 41 using an Atlas V 411 configuration, designated AV-067.
The Atlas V 411 has only one Solid Rocket booster that creates an imbalanced appearance after liftoff because of the off-axial thrust moment delivered by the lone SRB. This requires compensation by the RD-180 which gimbals its two nozzles to re-direct it’s thrust and allow the Atlas V 411 to rise vertically.
OSIRIS-REx is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, following in the footsteps of the New Horizons spacecraft that became the first to explore Dwarf Planet Pluto and JUNO which arrived in orbit around Jupiter in July 2016.
UPDATE: I am presenting the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft papermodel in 1:30 scale, designed by Zach from Zach’s PaperSat Designs. This model is being hosted at my blog with the designer’s permission. The designer is a member of the PaperModeler’s Forum. For any updates please contact Zach at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the model!
axmatlasv_osiris_rex Atlas V411 in 1:96 scale (Updated)
AtlasV Instruction manual here
BONUS: OSIRIS-REx spacecraft papermodel 1:30 scale designed by Zach (Zach’s PaperSat Designs)
osiris-rex OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft papermodel in 1:30 scale
osiris-rex-instructions Instruction Manual
Learn more about OSIRIS-REx here.
Source: Spaceflight101.com, Spaceflightnow.com