In early September, the UA-led OSIRIS-REx mission launched from Cape Canaveral. Years in the making, and with a budget of over $800 million, the project is a major point of pride for the University of Arizona. For one thing, attracting a grant of this size is a major accomplishment by the University, as well as the local and state communities, which benefit from high-paying jobs and other opportunities that come with the grant. However, the ultimate outcomes of the mission – whether it performs as expected, what we learn from it, and what that new knowledge enables – remain in question.
OSIRIS-REx launches atop an Atlas V rocket on September 8, 2016
Therein lies one of the major complications for university research, particularly in an era of major pressures on federal, state, and other research funding: Calls for accountability, more oversight, and other...