Published 27 May 2011
KinetX, Inc. is the Primary Provider of Key Mission Design and Navigation Support for New NASA Asteroid
Science Mission: OSIRIS‑REx
NASA announced a new robotic science mission to be launched in 2016 that will retrieve samples from an
asteroid. The mission, called Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource
Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, will be the first U.S. mission to carry
samples from an asteroid back to Earth. KinetX, Inc., a Tempe, Arizona based private corporation,
has partnered with the OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator, Dr. Michael Drake of the University of Arizona
in Tucson, and NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center, to be the primary provider of deep space mission
design and navigation for the mission.
Starting later this year, KinetX will begin participating in the development of the mission and
navigation systems that will be implemented and tested by the 2016 launch. After launch, KinetX
personnel will perform mission design and navigation operations including trajectory optimization, orbit
determination and propulsive maneuver design to guide the spacecraft to a soft touch-down on the
asteroid surface in 2020 to collect the sample. KinetX will also provide these services for the
return flight to Earth, which begins with departure from the asteroid in 2021 and ends with arrival at
Earth in 2023.
The OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft
KinetX, Inc. is the first commercial entity to provide spacecraft navigation services for NASA
interplanetary missions and is currently providing similar mission design and navigation services for
two NASA missions: the MESSENGER mission that is currently orbiting the planet Mercury and the New
Horizons mission that is on its way to fly by Pluto in 2015.
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