Inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center technicians and engineers cycle the sample return capsule (SRC) door in a test of NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Targeted for liftoff Sept. 8, 2016, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, OSIRIS-Rex will be the first U.S. mission to sample an asteroid, retrieve at least two ounces of surface material and return it to Earth for study. The asteroid, Bennu, may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of water and organic molecules found on Earth.

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett Larger image