Launch of First U.S. Spacecraft to Sample Asteroid Set for September, NASA Media Accreditation Open

Press Release From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Friday, May 20, 2016

NASA has opened accreditation for media to attend the September launch of the first U.S. mission to sample an asteroid. NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security - Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to and collect surface material from the asteroid Bennu, and return it to Earth for study.

OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Sept. 8. The two-hour launch window opens at 7:05 p.m. EDT.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at Cape Canaveral and NASA’s neighboring Kennedy Space Center. Credentialing deadlines are as follows:

International news media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 5, for access to Cape Canaveral and Kennedy.

International news media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m., Aug. 23, for access to Kennedy only.

U.S. news media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 29.
All media accreditation requests should be submitted online at:

International journalists must upload a scanned copy of their visa and passport or green card with their accreditation request. Media representatives must present two forms of unexpired, government identification to enter Kennedy. One form must include a photo, such as a passport or driver’s license.

Questions about accreditation may be addressed to Jennifer Horner at or 321-867-6598. For additional information, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.

OSIRIS-REx will retrieve at least 60 grams (2.1 ounces) of surface material. Scientists suspect Bennu may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of the water and organic molecules that may have made their way to Earth.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering and the safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Dante Lauretta is the mission's principal investigator at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft.

OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. The agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the New Frontiers Program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Launch and countdown is managed at Kennedy.

For more information about the OSIRIS-REx Program, visit:

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