Corning supplies custom optical components for NASA asteroid mission

  Specialist applications

Corning’s optical components will be used in NASA’s New Frontiers Program for its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which will visit a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu, launching in 2016 and reaching the asteroid in 2018.

Corning
Corning’s optical components will be used in NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft
Corning Incorporated is supplying custom optical components to NASA for use in its OSIRIS-Rex mission, the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will visit a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu, launching in 2016 and reaching the asteroid in 2018. After a detailed study, the spacecraft will obtain a sample and return to Earth in 2023.
Corning manufactured two high-precision mirrors to collect and image light reflected by the asteroid, as part of the spacecraft's OVIRS instrument. This tool will help researchers identify areas on the asteroid that may contain water or organic materials, such as certain amino acids, which are the building blocks of life.
Corning was specifically chosen by NASA for its ability to produce low-scatter, high-accuracy, bare aluminium optics and to test them at cryogenic temperatures (approximately 120 Kelvin or -244°F) – representative of temperatures the optical components will encounter in space.
The custom optical components were made in Corning’s Keene, N.H., manufacturing plant, part of Corning Specialty Materials.
“As a company founded on science and discovery, we are delighted to support this important research. Corning has a rich history with NASA, dating back more than 50 years to America's first mission to space,” said Curt Weinstein, vice president and general manager, Advanced Optics, Corning Specialty Materials.
Corning has produced mirrors for the Hubble, Gemini, and Subaru telescopes along with prov...





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