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A COLLABORATIVE STUDENT PROJECT REXIS began in 2010 as a proposal effort led by Professor Richard Binzel of MIT’s Earth Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences Department, Professor David Miller of AeroAstro’s Space Systems Laboratory, and Professor Jonathan Grindlay from Harvard College Observatory. MIT SSL graduate student George Sondecker (SM ’11) was the student lead in the proposal. REXIS was among four proposed student collaboration projects chosen by the OSIRIS-REx project for its mission proposal to NASA in October 2010. In the summer of 2011, NASA selected OSIRIS-REx as a New Frontiers mission, and the REXIS project was underway. REXIS development began as a project in the AeroAstro senior capstone design classes 16.83 and 16.31. The classes were led by this author, a research engineer in the Space Systems Lab; and Professor Sara Seager of MIT’s Earth, Air, and Planetary Sciences Department. A team of about 10 undergraduate students developed the instrument requirements and the preliminary design with the support of graduate student mentors, MIT faculty, and staff. The classes participated in two reviews: the System Requirements Review in January 2012 and the System Definition Review in April 2012. Despite its status as a student collaboration experiment that is non-critical to the success of the mission, the OSIRIS-REx The project team put the REXIS project team put the REXIS students through the same rigor of students through the same rigor review as for all the other mission-critical instruments.

of review as for all the other mission-critical instruments.

At the conclusion of the capstone class the REXIS project was transitioned to a team of graduate students with support by undergraduates through the UROP program. Science support was provided by Binzel, as principal investigator and instrument scientist, and Harvard College Observatory researchers Branden Allen and Jaesub Hong. MIT Kavli Institute and Lincoln Laboratory supported the REXIS students with expertise in the area of CCD technology, implementation and handling. The Space Systems Laboratory provided engineering and design guidance along with


AEROASTRO 2015-2016

MIT AeroAstro annual magazine 2015-2016Aeroastro 2015 16  

Annual magazine review of MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department research and educational initiatives.

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