In just a few days, NASA will oversee the last moments of its ground-breaking OSIRIS-REx mission, which will return back rock samples gathered from an asteroid for the first time.
The return of the capsule with the crucial samples that were collected from the Bennu asteroid in 2020 will be streamed live by the space agency. Learn how to view NASA’s broadcast on September 24 by reading on.
When it is 63,000 miles from Earth’s surface, the spacecraft will let go of the capsule. According to NASA, the asteroid material inside the capsule “will offer generations of scientists a window into the time when the sun and planets were forming about 4.5 billion years ago,” and it may even provide insight into the origin of life on Earth. This is assuming the capsule lands intact and is safely recovered from the Utah desert.
Astonishingly clear footage of the moment the spacecraft touched down on Bennu as the rock hurtled through space at 63,000 mph, more than 200 million miles from Earth, is among the mission’s most memorable moments for space lovers.
Surprisingly, the spacecraft’s task will not be over after releasing the capsule since it will be rerouted to examine the Apophis asteroid during the space rock’s flyby of Earth in 2029.
Currently speeding toward Earth, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is carrying a capsule with samples taken from the Bennu asteroid. The capsule will be released as the spacecraft gets closer to Earth. The spacecraft will send out a parachute in its closing seconds and fall toward a landing area in the Utah desert. A recovery team will pick it up and move it to a temporary clean room as soon as it touches down on solid ground.
The NASA live broadcast will begin following developments on September 24 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
On NASA TV, NASA’s YouTube channel, NASA.gov, the NASA app, or on social media (@NASA), you can watch the live stream.
Around 5 p.m. ET, when the sample capsule reaches the temporary clean room on the military range, a post-landing press conference will begin.