Local helicopter company helps NASA

MEDFORD, Ore. – A local helicopter company had the opportunity to help recover a NASA spacecraft, that landed yesterday after years in space.

Timberland Helicopters Incorporated is a charter helicopter company based in Ashland.

They primarily do power line patrol and other works with Pacific Corp, as well as some firefighting.

Timberland also has an aircraft base in Utah, which is where NASA’s Osiris- Rex mission spacecraft landed.

In 2016, the spacecraft started its mission to an asteroid that orbits the sun at a distance closer than earth.

It aimed to collect samples from the asteroid that could give us insight into the early solar system and the origins of life on earth.

Timberland president, Mark Gibson says it was honor to contribute to the mission.

He said, “it’s the first time that this sort of mission has ever taken place, so it was definitely exciting to be a part of it. Our operations people out there, I think were pretty excited about it and just thrilled that we were part of it and that everything went very successfully…”

Timberland was able to help ensure the safety of the samples, bringing it back to NASA’s facilities.

They say that the samples are believed to provide invaluable data for researchers, and even offer clues about the building blocks of life.


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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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