/ Modified nov 20, 2017 10:38 a.m.

Episode 106: Chasing Down an Asteroid

The OSIRIS-REx teams prepares for the spacecraft's arrival at Bennu in November 2018.

AZSCI 106 Chasing Asteroid Sara Knutson, Lead Science Operations Engineer for OSIRIS-Rex, discusses what's to come when the spacecraft reaches the asteroid Bennu in November of 2018. (PHOTO: AZPM Staff)


OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to reach the 4.5 billion year old asteroid – Bennu – in November of 2018. As the team prepares for the approach, it’s essential that team members know their functions and that communications between teams are well understood. Sara Knutson, Lead science Operations Engineer, has spent the year since launch with her team mapping out what actions the science payload instruments aboard the spacecraft will be performing when they arrive at the asteroid. This includes planning all the observations the science instruments will be performing while it orbits Bennu to survey the asteroid in preparation for selecting a sample site. Knutson communicates between the teams and works with them to make sure everything is within specs before any commands are sent to the craft.

In this episode:

Sara Knutson, Lead Science Operations Engineer for OSIRIS-REx
Tim Swindle, Ph.D., Director of the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab

Arizona Science
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