September 1, 2016 – Launch and mission officials gathered this morning for the OSIRIS-REx Flight Readiness Review and concluded that there are no issues or concerns that would preclude continuing to the targeted launch date Thursday, September 8. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is planned for 5:05 p.m. MDT from Space Launch Complex 41 on Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The Atlas V, including the payload fairing containing the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, is in place at the pad, where vehicle closeouts have started. The spacecraft on-pad functional test was completed today. A launch countdown dress rehearsal is set for Friday afternoon.
NASA released a statement to confirm the mission remains on track despite the SpaceX Falcon 9 explosion on SLC-40 this morning. The statement read:
“Initial assessments indicate the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and OSIRIS-REx spacecraft are healthy and secure in the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41, which is 1.1 miles from SpaceX’s launch pad where the incident occurred.
The Launch Readiness Review planned for Tuesday, September 6 will be the final prelaunch readiness check before teams proceed with the countdown. The roll out to the launch pad is planned for Wednesday, September 7.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado built the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland provides overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Dante Lauretta is the mission’s principal investigator at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Several researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder are also involved in the mission.
This is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.