PSU meteorite professors get up-close look of NASA asteroid mission launch

Alex Ruzicka and Melinda Hutson at last week's launch. (Alex Ruzicka)

Melinda Hutson and Alex Ruzicka are both geology professors at the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory at Portland State University. Last week, they got the ultimate up-close look at the launch of the Osiris-Rex asteroid spacecraft launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“The Osiris-REx mission is a sample return mission from an asteroid, Bennu,” Ruzicka explained. "It’s what’s called a near-earth asteroid so it gets kind of close to the earth periodically and it makes it relatively easy to get to.

“It’s of interest scient