A Changing of the Guard With OSIRIS-REx

Oct. 3, 2016

Although Ed Beshore has spent the last few years of his career helping to plan a spacecraft's travel to an asteroid, he says he will be content to travel throughout the West in his retirement. Having seen OSIRIS-REx off to a successful launch less than a month ago, Beshore retires today from the University of Arizona and from his job as the mission's deputy principal investigator.

"No doubt about it, the thing I will miss the most is the people and the excitement of getting problems solved together," says Beshore, who officially turns over the deputy PI's role to Heather Enos.

"It's a lot of fun to work on something that's really hard. You're presented with a challenge, and you get together with your team members and figure out what to do about it. That collaboration, that coming up with solutions, is a lot of fun. I enjoy that rapport."

Not that Beshore will cease tracking the mission. He jokes that he will come around from time to time, like a grandparent who plays with a baby before handing the child back to the parents at the first sign of fussiness. And he says he will miss working side-by-side with principal investigator Dante Lauretta.

"No detail goes unexamined by him," Beshore says of Lauretta. "He does not let people worry about things. He has a huge understanding of the mission, not just technically but the budgets and resources and planning.

"He is the chief cheerleader and the chief technical scientist, the guy who understands where we stand, and he can put that all together to decide what is the right thing to do. He's got the mission figured out well in advance."

Enos, the project planning and control officer for OSIRIS-REx since mid-2011, has an MBA from the UA's Eller College of Management and is overseeing the transition from launch to operations, based at the Michael J. Drake Building northwest of campus.

"Working with Dante is challenging, and I mean that in a good way," Enos says. "I share his passion and probably have an equal amount of energy. We complement each other very well. We have a really good working relationship."