back to article NASA to unsheath giant asteroid space probe

NASA has given the go-ahead to start building the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, spacecraft for its 2016 mission to rendezvous with asteroid Bennu. Youtube Video The team that will run the space agency's first attempt to collect samples from an asteroid and …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. FartingHippo


    Given the way the world seems to be going, it will probably 'malfunction' and drop the asteroid on the Kremlin.

  2. Chris Miller


    WTF is 'Security' doing in there? (Except to form the backronym, of course.)

    1. erikj

      Re: OSIRIS-REx?

      I think 'Security' == funding. NASA's description of the mission speaks mainly about mining stuff from asteroids, downplaying the bit where (some say) Bennu has a one-tenth percent chance of colliding with Earth by 2199. I'm sure the boffins suggested finding out what Bennu is made of is helpful both to mining studies as well as figuring out what's needed to perhaps blow the thing up.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: OSIRIS-REx?

        Possible collision by 2199? I don't think Bruce Willis is going to last that long. Unless they freeze him and thaw him out for the job.

        Acronyms are not getting any better are they? maybe it's time to just give these things a simple name like Bob and then a description of it's basic function; e.g. Bob the asteroid spy! etc.

        I am sure though that someone can come up with something better than that.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Re: OSIRIS-REx?

          The chances of funding are proportional to the effort put into the (b)ac(k)ronym. Politicians gladly fund a project named OSIRIS-REx, however tenuous the connection between name and purpose, they might go for Yet Another Asteroid Bashing Attempt (YAABA) because you can at least pronounce it, but Probe For Planetoid Research (PFPR) stands little chance

  3. Steven Holmquist

    Andromida Strain?

    Is it just me or does the return capsule look like the SCOOP probe from the movie?

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    First step in turning an asteroid into an RV for cruising round the solar system?

    Where radiation is concerned you've got 2 options.

    a) Haul hundreds of tonnes of shielding up the gravity well

    b) Dig into a passing 'roid and enjoy a couple of metres of solid rock as you cruise around the solar system, with plenty of space to mount PV panels, stores etc.

    (Cautious) thumbs up, but it's a long way to launch day.

    1. Richard Boyce

      Re: First step in turning an asteroid into an RV for cruising round the solar system?

      It might be more effective to stop a smaller asteroid rotating, and then keep it between the Sun and the crew during storms. You could put nuclear-powered ion drives on the side opposite the crew.

  5. Arachnoid


    Space Intruder Detector ......Gerry Anderson would be proud

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019