David Trang has been selected as a participating scientist on NASA‘s first asteroid sample return mission, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). Trang is a postdoctoral associate at the Hawaiʻi Institute for Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) in SOEST. As a participating scientist, he will become a science team member during his three-year tenure with the mission.
The goal of OSIRIS-Rex is to explore Bennu, an asteroid approximately 1,600 feet in diameter orbiting in the solar system. It will take samples of the asteroid and return them to Earth. Trang’s role is to help with preliminary survey maps of Bennu, which has been physically and chemically altered by exposure to the space environment, which is known as “space weathering.”
OSIRIS-REx launched on September 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The return sample of a primitive asteroid could help scientists understand the formation of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago.
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