NASA’s OSIRIS-REx To Bring Samples Of Asteroid Bennu To Earth, When And Where to Watch Capsule's Landing (Photo:Screengrab/X/NASA)
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid. It will return to Earth on September 24 with material from asteroid Bennu. After arriving, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will release the sample capsule for a safe landing in the Utah desert, NASA said.
The spacecraft collected pristine material from Bennu, including rocks and dust, in 2020. It will offer generations of scientists a window into the time when the Sun and planets were forming about 4.5 billion years ago, the US space agency stated.
Where to watch the OSIRIS-REx sample capsule landing?
NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample capsule landing starts at 10 a.m. EDT. The coverage will be live-streamed on X, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
If the capsule returns to the Earth, it will be the end of NASA's seven-year mission - OSIRIS-REX. OSIRIS-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resources Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer. The mission was launched in 2016.
About the mission:
Launched on Sept. 8, 2016, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft travelled to a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu (formerly 1999 RQ36) and collected a sample of rocks and dust from the surface.
"This mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth," NASA stated.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx.