The OSIRS-REx mission, developed by the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems, is scheduled for launch in 2016.

This asteroid sample-return mission is interesting for a number of reasons. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer. This marks the first time that resource prospecting and planetary defense have been prominently highlighted, along with science, as part of a NASA unmanned space mission. This should become the standsard model for all future missions.

Also interesting is the way OSIRIS-REx team members have tested their experiments in a low-gravity environment.

Read more: OSIRIS-REx Proves Utility of Human-Tended Experiments — Citizens in Space.

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