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The team at the Tucson, Arizona CNC machining company P4Swiss / Lindel have been looking skyward recently, and for good reason. Several precision CNC machined parts produced at the Tucson facility have been skyrocketing their way across the solar system documenting one particular asteroid 101955 Bennuand they’re pretty proud of it.

“Working with scientists and engineers at University of Arizona is always an exhilarating experience,” said Tom Ferrara, General Manager at P4Swiss / Lindel. “Being able to meet their design and engineering specifications and help with the production of OSIRIS-REx took real team effort.”

CNC manufacturing for aeronautical parts requires the highest precision. That’s why, when the UA team reached out to P4Swiss / Lindel, they needed to be confident in the capabilities of their CNC machines, their CNC operators, and their entire production team. While the OSIRIS-REx component manufactured by P4Swiss / Lindel was just a single part of the entire camera array, when traveling at more than 800 miles per hour through the depths of space, every detail needed to be perfect. There would be no going back to the drawing board.

OSIRIS-REx, the aeronautical wonder-camera designed by the scientists and engineers at Arizona University, since its 2016 launch, has been speeding through space on its way to document the asteroid Bennu as well as record astrological data and images never before accessible to earthbound scientists. The housing and all of its components needed to come together with exacting precision to make sure the camera was capable of the documentation of Bennu starting from over a million miles away and proceeding up to 10 feet from Bennu’s volatile surface.

“The camera suite on board the spacecraft is similar to a lookout perched in the crow’s nest of a tall ship,” said OCAMS instrument scientist Bashir Rizik, who has been with the OSIRIS-REx nearly from the beginning in 2006. “This scout must observe Bennu as we approach, survey and recon the asteroid, and tell the ship’s navigator where the hazards are located.”

OSIRIS-REx will be the first U.S. mission to return samples from an asteroid to Earth.  The spacecraft is scheduled to bring back a sample of at least 60 grams (2.1 ounces) to be studied.

“When we think about the impact our Tucson CNC machining shop has made out there, it’s almost overwhelming,” said Ferrara. “Our precision CNC capabilities have revealed the most inspirational opportunities and we’re thrilled to see where we’ll be going next.”

From Tucson to the outer reaches of our solar system, the parts manufactured at P4Swiss / Lindel help make aeronautical research and scientific study all the more possible.  When OSIRIS-REx returns from its mission sometime in the late summer of 2023, the P4Swiss / Lindel team, along with the engineers and scientists from University of Arizona, will be able to take pride in the millions and millions of miles the equipment and specialty CNC machined parts have traveled, all in the name of science.

For precision machined parts of all kinds, including aeronautical CNC, medical CNC, optical CNC, military CNC parts and more, please reach out to Tucson’s premier precision CNC company, P4Swiss / Lindel. Contact General Manager, Tom Ferrara today at 3380 E Elvira Road, Tucson, AZ, 85756, phone: 520-792-3160, email tom@lindelengineering.com

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