In all geologic time, the responsibilities are on our generation ... including you ...

OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Probe, NASA

In 2011, NASA announced approved funding for a probe to a near Earth asteroid to retrieve a sample, as part of its New Frontiers program.

The probe will launch in 2016, arrive in 2019, study the asteroid for a year, then return a sample of hopefully between 50 grams and 2 kilograms to Earth in 2023, which will fall into the Utah desert by a detached return capsule. It is hoped the probe will still have enough fuel to go on to another asteroid.

The probe is called OSIRIS-REx, an acronym for Origins Spectral-Interpretation Resource-Identification Security Regolith Explorer.

The chosen asteroid, 1999 RQ36, is believed to be a very old one rich in organic materials, from nearly the beginning of the solar system. It is approximately 575 meters wide, and is an Apollo asteroid which crosses Earth's orbit.

This asteroid will pass close to Earth in 2182, with current calculations putting the chance of a collision as about 1 in 1000, the impact creating a crater about 10 km across and the blast bigger than our biggest nuclear weapon, but it would not be a global catastrophic event if it hit land. This is not a dinosaur extinction sized asteroid, plus it appears to be a very loose and soft asteroid which would probably break up a lot on the way thru the atmosphere. Of course, by 2182, either humans will be long extinct or else we will have the technology and resources to easily deflect the asteroid if we so choose.

The OSIRIS-REx probe will also attempt to measure something called the Yarkovsky effect, or the YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack), which is how sunlight and heating changes an asteroid's trajectory, however slight, as well as its spin. There are several ramifications of this in theory, but what gets the most attention is concerns whereby the Yarkovsky effect could possibly change asteroids' orbits enough that our calculations of where they will be in the future could be slightly off, possibly enough to make particular asteroids into more of a threat to Earth.

The probe and the project over the years will cost the US government a total of approximately a billion dollars. The project is being developed by the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and Lockheed Martin Space Systems, together with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Photo from NASA:

External links:

Wikipedia on OSIRIS-REx

NASA Page on OSIRIS > Asteroids, Near Earth Objects (NEO) > Probes to Asteroids and NEOs > OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Probe


PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
  • It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
  • It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!

You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

If you're short on time, you can just donate:

The Permanent Space Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
If you would like to make a quick donation to our humanistic cause,
then please click on one of the buttons below (which go to PayPal).

... or by cryptocurrency (which is NOT tax deductible), you can donate into any of these wallets:





... or ...

Suggest this website to other people and organizations.

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We have people in the USA and Thailand, and can travel or consult by internet.
You can call anytime, 24/7, at +66-8-1135-7977

Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2021, All Rights Reserved.
Many website artistic design elements by Sam Fraser, Copyright © 1999-2021, All Rights Reserved.

Except where specifically stated otherwise,
Copyright © 1983-2021 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved


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