SpaceX disaster prompts more review of next launch: OSIRIS-REx

A mission to bring dirt back from an asteroid received a jolt last week when a SpaceX rocket exploded on a nearby launch pad.

The Sept. 1 disaster touched off a review of the pad where the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch Thursday, a program manager for United Launch Alliance said Tuesday.

Scott Messer, ULA’s program manager for NASA missions, said SpaceX’s setback did not pose a risk to the Atlas V rocket, which was already prepped to carry OSIRIS-REx into space when the explosion happened.

“Our teams did an extensive walk through on the pad area and the (vehicle integration facility),” said Messer, whose company is a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. “The Atlas V vehicle was safely buttoned up and secure inside the VIF.”