OSIRIS-REx is an exciting NASA mission that will rendezvous with an asteroid and bring back a sample to Earth. On Sept. 8 the spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V rocket from Florida starting its seven-year journey. Lockheed Martin designed, built and tested the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and is performing spacecraft flight operations for NASA. The OSIRIS-REx mission will thoroughly characterize near-Earth asteroid Bennu. Asteroids are the direct remnants of the original building blocks of the terrestrial planets. Returning to Earth a pristine asteroid sample with known geologic context will enable precise analyses that cannot be duplicated with smaller instruments typically flown on a spacecraft. This detailed study of the sample may revolutionize our understanding of the early solar system.
Tony Antonelli is the Acting Director, Advanced Programs for the Civil Space line of business for Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Space Systems Company. He provides leadership for the strategic expansion of Civil Space programs and capabilities, innovating and developing Space Exploration Programs, Human Space Flight, Weather Satellites, and Launch Systems.
Tony is a retired Navy Captain and former NASA Astronaut who has accumulated over 4,700 flight hours in over 40 different kinds of aircraft and served as the pilot for two Space Shuttle missions: STS-119 and STS-132. While serving at NASA, Tony’s leadership roles within the Astronaut Office included the Space Launch System, Commercial Crew, Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM), and Space Shuttle Propulsion.
Tony holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Washington, respectively. He is also a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School.
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