Drs. Phil Christensen, Vicky Hamilton, and Devin Schrader
7:30PM, January 31, 2019 | Register
While many on Earth prepared to welcome in the New Year 2019, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, 70 million miles away, carried out a single, eight-second burn of its thrusters – and broke a space exploration record. The spacecraft entered into orbit around the asteroid Bennu, and made Bennu the smallest object ever to be orbited by a spacecraft.
Now that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is closer to Bennu, physical details about the asteroid will leap into sharper focus, and the spacecraft’s tour of this rubble pile of primordial debris will become increasingly detailed and focused.
At this lecture, join OSIRIS-REx mission team members Phil Christensen and Devin Schrader of ASU and Vicky Hamilton of the Southwest Research Institute for a closer look at Bennu and what we hope to learn from this ongoing mission.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Phil Christensen is a co-investigator on the OSIRIS-REx mission and the lead of the spacecraft’s OTES instrument. He is a Regents' Professor and the Ed and Helen Korrick Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU. As a geologist and geophysicist, his research interests focus on the composition, processes, and physical properties of Mars, the Earth, and other planetary surfaces. In addition to building OTES for OSIRIS-REx, Christensen has built five science instruments that have flown on NASA missions to Mars, including the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on Mars Odyssey, the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rovers, and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Observer.
Dr. Vicky Hamilton is a co-investigator on the OSIRIS-REx mission and the lead for the OTES spectrum analysis team. She is a planetary geologist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado and studies Mars and Earth and asteroids. The focus of her research is understanding the spectral features of minerals and rocks in the visible, near infrared, and thermal infrared portions of the electro-magnetic spectrum and using this knowledge to identify and/or characterize the rocks and minerals on planetary surfaces. Most of her recent work has focused on analysis of data from ongoing NASA spacecraft missions at Mars, in addition to her work as co-investigator on the OSIRIS-REx and Lucy missions.
Dr. Devin Schrader provides sample science support and is a carbonaceous meteorite collaborator on the OSIRIS-REx mission. He is also an assistant research professor with the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies. His research concerns the study of primitive meteorites and meteorites that were thermally and aqueously altered on their parent asteroid. He utilizes petrographic, compositional, thermodynamic, and isotopic data in to study small bodies in the early solar system.