OSIRIS-REx Deputy Principal Investigator Ed Beshore Retires

The UA's Ed Beshore says the OSIRIS-REx mission "represents a turning of the corner for planetary exploration by the United States."  Image Credit: Bob Demers/UANews

The UA’s Ed Beshore says the OSIRIS-REx mission “represents a turning of the corner for planetary exploration by the United States.” Image Credit: Bob Demers/UANews

October 5, 2016 – Although Ed Beshore has spent the last few years of his career helping to plan a spacecraft’s travel to an asteroid, he says he will be content to travel throughout the West in his retirement. Having seen OSIRIS-REx off to a successful launch less than a month ago, Beshore retired today from the University of Arizona and from his job as the mission’s deputy principal investigator.

“No doubt about it, the thing I will miss the most is the people and the excitement of getting problems solved together,” said Beshore. “It’s a lot of fun to work on something that’s really hard. You’re presented with a challenge, and you get together with your team members and figure out what to do about it. That collaboration, that coming up with solutions, is a lot of fun. I enjoy that rapport.”

Not that Beshore will cease tracking the mission. He joked that he will come around from time to time, like a grandparent who plays with a baby before handing the child back to the parents at the first sign of fussiness. And he said he will miss working side-by-side with principal investigator Dante Lauretta.

“No detail goes unexamined by him,” Beshore said of Lauretta. “He does not let people worry about things. He has a huge understanding of the mission, not just technically but the budgets and resources and planning. “He is the chief cheerleader and the chief technical scientist, the guy who understands where we stand, and he can put that all together to decide what is the right thing to do. He’s got the mission figured out well in advance.”

Taking over for Beshore as deputy to principal investigator Dante Lauretta on the mission is Heather Enos, who has been with the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory since 1997 and has served most recently as project planning and control officer for OSIRIS-REx.

“Working with Dante is challenging, and I mean that in a good way,” Enos said. “I share his passion and probably have an equal amount of energy. We complement each other very well. We have a really good working relationship.”

Under Beshore, the position focused on the development of hardware and on launch planning and preparations. Now it shifts in emphasis to mission operations, for which the nerve center will be the Michael J. Drake Building northwest of campus.

As for Beshore, he plans to ride off into the sunset — literally. As an undergraduate at the UA in the mid-1970s, he had a BMW motorcycle that he rode all over the West. He plans to resume those travels, this time in a new truck, and to do some backpacking.