As deputy lead of the OSIRIS-REx Sample Elements and Isotopes Working Group, Co-I Ann Nguyen is responsible for defining the analyses that will investigate the elemental and isotopic compositions of Bennu sample components.
Nguyen will characterize presolar grains, organic matter, and early solar system materials in the samples using the NanoSIMS 50L mass spectrometer at NASA-JSC. These analyses will provide insight into the nature and complex history of the asteroid.
As Lead of OSIRIS-REx Carbonaceous Meteorites Working Group, Lindsay Keller is responsible for the analysis of carbonaceous meteorite samples that are analogous to the regolith expected on the surface of Bennu.
When the sample return from Bennu in 2023, Keller will investigate the mineralogy and chemistry of the samples at atomic scales using a state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope.
The priority science goals of this study include investigating the effect of solar radiation on asteroidal surfaces, the geological history of the asteroid and the nature and origin of the first solar system solids.
As Lead of OSIRIS-REx Sample Curation, Co-I Kevin Righter is responsible for defining curation-related issues for the mission.
This includes collecting and archiving materials for contamination knowledge during the spacecraft build and launch in Colorado and Florida, which are now housed at NASA-JSC. The curation team will also be intimately involved with construction of the new Bennu asteroid sample cleanroom at NASA-JSC (2020-21), and recovery of the Sample Return Capsule at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) in 2023.
Kevin will also help to establish procedures for sample handling and distribution, sample documentation (imaging, catalog database development etc.), and long-term curation planning to ensure the integrity of the collected samples. He will also be part of the preliminary examination team that does the early characterization of Bennu samples.
Keiko Nakamura-Messenger is an OSIRIS-REx Mission Integration Scientist and one of the Mission Sample Science Council members. Nakamura-Messenger supports the OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator in the development and implementation of the sample analysis phase of the mission.
Collaborator Aaron Burton is manager of microscale soluble organic analysis instrument facility.
Collaborator Simon Clemett is manager of a unique laser-organic mass spectrometer he designed and built.
Collaborator Kathie Thomas-Keprta is leading the analysis of contamination knowledge surfaces for OSIRIS-REx spacecraft construction.
Collaborator Eve Berger manages the Soluble Organics in Astromaterials Laboratory at NASA-JSC. She will help characterize organic materials and host minerals returned by the OSIRIS-REx mission.
Collaborator Nicole Lunning is supporting curation activities for the mission. Nicole's efforts will focus on contamination control, contamination knowledge, sample handling, documentation, and long-term curation.
Michael J. Calaway, Advanced Exploration and Curation Project Lead, has helped with the OSIRIS-REx Earth operations and curation planning from UTTR recovery to initial receipt to primary containment, sample handling, basic characterization processing, and allocation of samples inside the pristine curation cleanroom laboratory. In addition, he has supported the facility design, selection of materials, contamination control, and implementation of a novel low organic outgassing cleanroom suite for OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2 inside the historic JSC Bldg. 31.
Christopher has been involved in the design, procurement and installation of equipment for the receipt of Bennu asteroid samples to be returned by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx misison, with an emphasis on contact pad documentation and particle removal.
Rachel will help prepare laboratories where the Bennu material will be stored and curated. She will also help to develop sample handling procedures for this precious material that will help to keep the material pristine. Additionally, Rachel will process and prepare samples of the material to be allocated to the world-wide scientific community.
Wayland is designing advanced curation equipment that will be used for processing, storing, and analyzing O-REx samples.