Breaking News | NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Preps for Epic Asteroid Supply



Breaking News | NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Preps for Epic Asteroid Supply



Illustration of OSIRIS-REx shifting away from Earth after releasing the pattern return capsule. Credit score: NASA’s Goddard House Flight Middle/CI Lab

NASA‘S Osiris-Rex The mission is ready to return the primary US asteroid pattern to Earth in September after a profitable mockup drop take a look at in Utah’s western desert.

A crew led by NASA in Utah’s western desert is within the ultimate levels of getting ready for the arrival of the primary US asteroid pattern – which is scheduled to land on Earth this month.

A mockup of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origin, Spectral Interpretation, Useful resource Identification, and Safety-Regolith Explorer) pattern capsule was dropped from an plane final Wednesday and landed within the drop zone on the Division of Protection’s Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary within the desert Was. outdoors Salt Lake Metropolis. It was a part of the mission’s final main take a look at earlier than the precise capsule arrived on September 24 with samples from asteroid Bennu collected in house practically three years earlier.

Training model of the OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule

A coaching mannequin of the pattern return capsule is seen throughout a drop take a look at in preparation for the restoration of the pattern return capsule from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission on the Division of Protection’s Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The pattern was collected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from asteroid Bennu in October 2020 and can return to Earth on September 24, descending beneath a parachute on the Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary. Credit score: NASA/Keegan Barber

“We are actually solely weeks away from getting a chunk of photo voltaic system historical past right here on Earth, and this profitable drop take a look at ensures we’re prepared,” mentioned Nicola Fox, affiliate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Historical materials from asteroid Bennu will assist make clear the formation of our photo voltaic system 4.5 billion years in the past, and maybe how life started on Earth.”

rehearsal and anticipation

This drop take a look at follows a sequence of earlier rehearsals — capsule retrieval, spacecraft engineering operations, and pattern curation procedures — that had been carried out this spring and early summer time.

Now, with lower than 4 weeks to go till the spacecraft arrives, the OSIRIS-REx crew is nearing the tip of rehearsals and readying for the precise supply.

“I’m extraordinarily pleased with the efforts our crew has put into this effort,” mentioned Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator on the College of Arizona, Tucson. “Simply as our cautious planning and rehearsal ready us to gather a pattern from Bennu, we have honed our expertise for pattern retrieval.”

The capsule is carrying an estimated 8.8 ounces of rocky materials to be collected from the floor of asteroid Bennu in 2020. Researchers will examine the pattern over the approaching years to be taught extra about how our planet and photo voltaic system shaped, in addition to the origin of natural matter. Life could have originated on Earth.


OSIRIS-REx is NASA’s first asteroid pattern return mission. It was launched in September 2016 on a journey to discover a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu. The mission’s thrilling finale will happen on September 24, 2023, when a capsule containing Bennu samples will land within the western desert of Utah. credit score: NASA

Arrival of the capsule and additional processing

The capsule will enter Earth’s environment at 10:42 am EDT (8:42 a.m. MDT), touring at roughly 27,650 mph. NASA’s dwell protection of the capsule touchdown will start at 10 a.m. EDT (8 p.m. MDT), and can air on NASA TV, the NASA app and the company’s web site.

“We are actually within the ultimate levels of this seven-year journey, and it looks like the previous few miles of a marathon, with a confluence of feelings like pleasure and pleasure mixed with a decided focus to complete the race properly.” ” mentioned Wealthy Burns, venture supervisor for OSIRIS-REx at NASA’s Goddard House Flight Middle in Greenbelt, Maryland.

As soon as unearthed and packed for journey, the capsule will likely be moved to a short lived clear room on the navy vary, the place it’ll bear preliminary processing and disassembly in preparation for its journey by airplane to NASA’s Johnson House Middle in Houston. the place the pattern will likely be documented, saved and distributed for evaluation amongst scientists all over the world.

Associates and Partnerships

NASA’s Goddard House Flight Middle in Maryland is answerable for total mission administration, methods engineering and making certain security and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. The College of Arizona, Tucson, is headed by Dante Lauretta, principal investigator, who guides the science crew, science statement planning and information processing. Lockheed Martin House constructed the spacecraft and managed flight operations, whereas Goddard and KineteX Aerospace navigated the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. The sampling interval for the mission, which additionally consists of processing of samples upon arrival on Earth, has been designated to NASA’s Johnson House Middle in Houston. The mission additionally boasts worldwide collaboration, together with devices from the Canadian House Company and pattern science collaboration with Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission. OSIRIS-REx is a key mission beneath NASA’s New Frontiers program, which is overseen by NASA’s Marshall House Flight Middle in Alabama.


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