Let’s do this, OSIRIS-REx! Time to journey #ToBennuAndBack. Tune in to our live broadcast as our spacecraft descends to the surface of asteroid Bennu, touches down for a few seconds & attempts to capture regolith (rocks and dust) using a “Touch-And-Go,” or TAG, maneuver. The spacecraft must target Bennu’s rocky surface with great accuracy, touching down within a rocky area just 52 ft (16 m) in diameter. During the maneuver, the spacecraft and the asteroid will be approximately 207 million miles (334 million km) from Earth.
Live coverage from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Denver, Colorado, with mission managers from the University of Arizona, Lockheed Martin, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center begins at 5 p.m. EDT.
The spacecraft is scheduled to depart Bennu in 2021, and to deliver the collected sample to Earth on Sep. 24, 2023. It will be the first U.S. mission to carry samples from an asteroid back to Earth, and the largest sample returned from space since the Apollo era.
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