Exploring asteroids in Near-Earth Space
Join us for an evening with Prof. Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator of NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security‒Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission. Prof. Lauretta works at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. His research interests focus on the chemistry and mineralogy of asteroids and comets, and he is an expert in the analysis of extraterrestrial materials, including asteroid samples, meteorites and comet particles.
Dr. Lauretta heads a research team at the UA working on the OSIRIS-REx mission, which was selected by NASA in 2011, launched in 2016, and returns samples back to Earth in 2023.
The OSIRIS-REx mission will be traveling to Bennu, a carbon-rich, near-Earth asteroid. The spacecraft launched on September 8, 2016, and is scheduled to rendezvous with Bennu in 2018 and ultimately bring samples of the asteroid back to Earth. These samples may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth.
Prof. Lauretta’s visit is being hosted by Motion Metrics.