NASA Provides Live Coverage of Spacecraft Arrival at Asteroid That May Have Answers to the Origin of our Solar System

asteroid Bennu
This “super-resolution view of asteroid Bennu was created using eight images obtained by NASAs OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on Oct. 29, 2018, from a distance of about 205 miles (330 kilometers).
Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASAs Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is scheduled to rendezvous with its targeted asteroid, Bennu, on Monday, Dec. 3 at approximately noon EST.

NASA will air a live event from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST to highlight the arrival of the agencys first asteroid sample return mission. The program will originate from OSIRIS-RExs mission control at the Lockheed Martin Space facility in Littleton, Colorado, and will air on NASA Television,Facebook Live,Ustream,YouTubeand the agency’swebsite. NASA TV also will air an arrival preview program starting at 11:15 a.m. EST.

OSIRIS-REx launched in September 2016 and has been slowly approaching Bennu. The spacecraft will spend almost a year surveying the asteroid with five scientific instruments with the goal of selecting a location that is safe and scientifically interesting to collect the sample. OSIRIS-REx will return the sample to Earth in September 2023.

Participants in the arrival coverage event include:

  • Michelle Thaller, moderator, NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md
  • Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md
  • Heather Enos, OSIRIS-REx deputy principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Mark Fisher, OSIRIS-REx spacecraft engineer, Lockheed Martin Space, Littleton, Colo.
  • Coralie Adam, OSIRIS-REx flight navigator, KinetX, Inc. Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics, Simi Valley, Calif.
/Public Release. For more details, please visit NASA website.