When: September 8, 2016 7:05 pm EDT


Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Space Launch Complex 41

Rocket Launch: OSIRIS-REx Atlas V


NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on ULA’s Atlas V rocket. OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer) is the first U.S. mission that will travel to near-Earth asteroid Bennu and bring a small sample back to Earth for study. As planned, the spacecraft will reach its asteroid target in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023.

Learn More About OSIRIS-REx


Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of launches. Launch viewing opportunities for OSIRIS-REx are available at the LC-39 Observation Gantry, NASA Causeway, and the main visitor complex with bleacher seating and launch commentary. Launch Viewing/Transportation Tickets to LC-39 Observation Gantry are available for $49, in addition to daily admission. Tickets to NASA Causeway are available for $39, in addition to daily admission. Tickets for LC-39 (SOLD OUT!) and NASA Causeway are available online and by calling 855-475-8415. The main visitor complex viewing area is included with daily admission and is located next to Space Shuttle Atlantis. Restrooms and other amenities are available at both viewing areas.

Also on launch day, join us for special events including Bill Nye the Science Guy, who will present the science of OSIRIS-REx live in the launch viewing area next to Space Shuttle Atlantis®. Watch special showings of Eyes on the Universe featuring the mission and asteroid Bennu. United Launch Alliance engineers will present the mission briefing at Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted and NASA outreach exhibits will be available throughout the visitor complex. Learn More

Prepare for Launch Day

Launch date, time, and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute. Learn more about our Launch Scrub Policy.

Safety Communication:
Please note that NASA applies stringent range safety principles and techniques to protect the general public and property for all areas of the Kennedy Space Center for launch. Factors including last minute changes to weather forecasts may preclude certain launch viewing sites from being available for the scheduled launch time. In the event, a launch viewing location is no longer available due to a weather violation, all efforts will be made to relocate to an alternative viewing location.


The Atlas V rocket was introduced by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in August 2002. The Atlas V was developed to provide launch services to the U.S. government and is a part of the Atlas program which in total has logged more than 600 launches to date. The rocket uses a standard common core booster™ (CCB), up to five strap-on solid rocket boosters (SRB), an upper-stage Centaur in either the Single-Engine Centaur (SEC) or the Dual-Engine Centaur (DEC) configuration, and one of several payload fairings (PLF).

There are two series of Atlas V Rockets: Atlas V 400 (three SRBs) and Atlas V 500 (five SRBs).The RD-180 main engine, designed and manufactured by NPO Energomash, delivers more than 860,000 lbs of thrust during liftoff. This engine is comprised of liquid oxygen/liquid kerosene and has a two-thrust chamber. The RL10 engines and propulsion systems, manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, are used to power both Delta IV and Atlas V rockets to their second stages.