CAPE CANAVERAL – SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 – KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – On Thursday Sept. 8 at 7:05 p.m. the OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer) will launch from Kennedy Space Center atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. OSIRIS-REx will be the first space explorer mission to travel to an asteroid, collect samples and bring them back to Earth for study.
To commemorate and educate the public on this trailblazing NASA mission, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be holding special activities leading up to launch, including a public presentation and photo opportunity with Bill Nye the Science Guy, an OSIRIS-Rex special edition of the Eyes on the Universe IMAX theater show, NASA pop-up exhibits from the Launch Services Program, Science Mission Directorate and Marshall Space Flight Center as well as special presentations by United Launch Alliance and NASA.
OSIRIS-REx will be travelling to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, (the most accessible carbonaceous asteroid as well as the most potentially Earth-hazardous asteroid known) and bring samples back to Earth for study on our solar system’s formation. The spacecraft will reach its asteroid target in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023. The pioneering OSIRIS-REx mission will provide a greater understanding of both the hazards and resources in near-Earth space, serving as a precursor to future asteroid missions.
The full schedule of events includes:
Public Presentation and Photo Opportunity with Bill Nye: Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m.
Science educator, Bill Nye, will hold a presentation at the Space Shuttle Atlantis® launch viewing location. The 20- minute presentation will begin at 1:30 p.m. followed by a 10-minute question and answer session with the audience. After the presentation, Nye will be stationed inside Space Shuttle Atlantis for an hour-long photo session with guests.
Nye has made contributions to NASA including his work on a sundial, known as the MarsDial, used in the Mars Exploration Rover missions. He continues his involvement in space science research as he currently serves as chief executive officer of the Planetary Society.
The Launch: Sept. 8 at 7:05 p.m.
Experience the thrill of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket launch as it lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:05 p.m. Launch viewing is available at the main visitor complex, NASA Causeway and LC-39 Observation Gantry.
Special OSIRIS-REx Edition of the Eyes on the Universe show: Daily, Sept. 6-15
A special edition of the Eyes On The Universe show tailored around the OSIRIS-REx mission, including a mission overview, specs and highlights have been developed to educate and excite the public about the monumental mission. This special edition will play at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in the Astronaut Encounter Theater Sept. 6-15.
NASA Outreach Exhibits: Sept. 6-8
NASA will be hosting special outreach pop-up exhibits from their Launch Services Program, Science Mission Directorate and Marshall Space Flight Center. The Marshall Space Flight Center exhibit will contain a virtual reality interactive experience and a ½ scale model of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.
United Launch Alliance Presentations: Sept. 7-8
United Launch Alliance will be hosting live briefings in the Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted exhibit in support of the Atlas V OSIRIS-REx rocket launch.
LAUNCH VIEWING INFORMATION
NASA Causeway:The NASA Causeway includes an exclusive, up-close view of the rocket on the launch pad and during lift off. This location includes live launch commentary and bleacher seating. This is an outdoor viewing site with no covered viewing so we recommend the guests bring hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Snack and refreshments are available for purchase and the location has accessible outdoor restrooms. Launch Transportation Tickets to the NASA Causeway are available for $39 plus tax, in addition to admission. Purchase tickets at KennedySpaceCenter.com or call 855-456-6200.
Space Shuttle Atlantis®:
Located at the main Visitor Complex, launch viewing adjacent to Space Shuttle Atlantis® is included in daily admission. Three bleachers will be arranged for the 1:30 p.m. Bill Nye presentation and launch viewing. A jumbo Tron and stage will also be set up to accommodate the presentation and livestream the ULA/NASA TV launch feed.
For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
NOTE: Launch date, time and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute.
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, where NASA made history and where it’s still being made. Experience a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX® A Beautiful Planet 3D and Journey To Space 3D films, Astronaut Encounter, Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted, Science on a Sphere, Rocket Garden, the new Cosmic Quest and many other interactive exhibits. Opening Nov. 16, 2016, is Heroes & Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
Andrea Farmer, [email protected], 321-449-4318 or 321-223-1091
Lauren Walbert, Hillman Communications, [email protected], 410-616-8943 or 443-683-0294