The OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, under the direction of Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta, continues to make steady progress. On December 9, the public countdown clocks for the mission were turned on. On that day, the time until the start of the September 2016 launch window dropped to 999 days, and the countdown began.
In early April, the mission passed its Critical Design Review (CDR), a major milestone for a spacecraft program: OSIRIS REx Closer to Probing the Universe.
OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to bring back at least 60 grams of material from the primitive asteroid Bennu in 2023.