Dante Lauretta is the principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx mission and a professor of planetary science at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. His research interests focus on the chemistry and mineralogy of asteroids and comets, and he is an expert in the analysis of extraterrestrial materials, including asteroid samples, meteorites, and comet particles.
Dr. Lauretta heads a research team at the UA working on this mission, which has included more that 100 undergraduate and graduate students. The mission was selected in 2011, launched in 2016, and returns samples back to Earth in 2023. Sample analysis continues until 2025. This project will help ensure that the University of Arizona remains at the forefront of planetary exploration for the next decade.