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Asteroid Mission Spacecraft Gets Green Light On Design In Colorado

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OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (credit: Lockheed Martin)

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (credit: Lockheed Martin)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- A spacecraft being developed at Lockheed Martin in Colorado is moving forward after its project passed a major design review. The spacecraft will rendezvous with an asteroid as part of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx program.

Now that it’s passed a comprehensive technical review, approval has been given to begin building the OSIRIS-REx. The spacecraft will be built at Lockheed Martin’s Waterton Canyon facilities in unincorporated Jefferson County.

“We have now completed the spacecraft design and are transitioning into fabrication as we prepare for the assembly, test and launch operations phase of the mission,” said Rich Kuhns, program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

The launch for OSIRIS-REx is set for September 2016. It’s the first U.S. mission to send a spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid to collect and return samples.

OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2018 and spend a year of reconnaissance at the asteroid before collecting samples and then returning to Earth.

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