HomeScienceNASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample returns to Earth: live updates

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample returns to Earth: live updates


OSIRIS-REx 1 week after the return of the asteroid sample

This diagram from NASA shows how the OSIRIS-REx capsule will return to Earth on September 24 over the course of 4 hours. (Image credit: NASA)

NASA is just a week away from the epic landing of its OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return capsule, which is packed with pieces of the asteroid Bennu. The landing, which is scheduled for September 24, 2023, will mark the end of the 7-year primary mission of OSIRIS-REx that started with a launch in 2016 and sample collection on Bennu in October 2020.

Scientists are excited, but also on edge, as they prepare for OSIRIS-REx’s return to Earth. The spaceship will crash into earth atmosphereprotected by a heat shield, and reaches speeds of up to 27,000 mph before deploying the parachute and main parachutes to reduce speed to a more manageable 10 mph.

As NASA prepares for the landing of OSIRIS-REx, check out our latest coverage below and stay tuned for daily updates leading up to the landing.

OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe heads toward Earth to deliver samples on September 24
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe set off toward Earth with a booster firing on September 10, two weeks before the highly anticipated delivery of asteroid samples.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission almost bites the dust; Then Queen guitarist Brian May intervened.
The mission’s ultimate success is due in part to Queen guitarist Brian May, who meticulously created 3D images of the debris pile to help mission leaders identify safe landing spots.

NASA conducts crucial drop test ahead of September 24 arrival of asteroid OSIRIS-REx sample
The OSIRIS-REx team performed a crucial drop test on Wednesday (Aug. 30), practicing what they will do when the mission’s actual asteroid sample arrives home on Sept. 24.

OSIRIS-REx Chief Scientist Reveals NASA’s First Asteroid Sampling Mission Almost Failed (Exclusive Interview)
Dante Lauretta, chief scientist for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, talks about the unexpected challenges of NASA’s first asteroid sampling attempt in an exclusive interview.

This is how the asteroid Bennu took NASA’s OSIRIS-REx by surprise

The landing of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on the asteroid Bennu raised a huge wall of debris. (Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab/Jonathan North)

When NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe arrived at the asteroid Bennu in 2018, it didn’t look like mission planners had anticipated.

“I really thought we might have problems there,” the mission’s chief scientist, Dante Lauretta, told Because the surface of the asteroid looked so different from how OSIRIS-REx The team thought this would be the case, the spacecraft had to be reprogrammed to be able to land on Bennu’s loose, grave surface.

But Bennu still had a few more surprises in store for the spacecraft when it landed to collect a sample. Read about how benu asteroid took NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft by surprise and nearly killed it along the way our feature here as we count down to the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft dropping this payload on Earth on Sunday, September 24.

Related: How Asteroid Bennu took NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft by surprise and nearly killed it along the way

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