OSIRIS-REx returns to Earth on September 24: online broadcast from NASA

The attention of the world community this week is again focused on the boundless space. After all, NASA is preparing for an important event: the return of the capsule with samples of the asteroid Bennu collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. This mission, which began in 2020, is of great importance for science and can reveal many secrets of the cosmos and our very planetary origin. 

In just a few days, on September 24, NASA will organize a live online broadcast of this historic moment when the capsule returns to Earth. This will be the final stage of the mission; it lasted three years and required a lot of effort from scientists and engineers from all over the world.

The OSIRIS-REx mission has become revolutionary not only because of its ambition, but also because of the important data it provides us with. The asteroid Bennu (from which the samples were collected) can tell us about the formation of the Solar System and, perhaps, even contains a key to understanding the origin of life on Earth.

How will the return of OSIRIS-REx take place

Here is more about how this fascinating process of returning samples will take place. The capsule containing precious samples from the asteroid Bennu will be released from the spacecraft when it approaches the Earth’s surface at a distance of approximately 101 thousand kilometers. This critical moment requires the highest precision and caution. After the capsule survives high-temperature braking in the upper atmosphere, at the last stage, it will open the parachute and begin to fall in the direction of the landing zone in the Utah desert. This landing should be controlled and safe, as it depends on whether this invaluable scientific evidence is preserved.

OSIRIS-REx on the background of the Earth (concept). Source: NASA

After a successful landing, the capsule will be lifted and transported to a temporary clean room. There, scientists would have the opportunity to thoroughly examine and study samples that flew through the vastness of space and brought with them the secrets of the depths of outer space. 

Continuation of the mission

After the samples are returned, the OSIRIS-REx mission will not end. The spacecraft will be redirected to study the asteroid Apophis, which will fly past Earth in 2029. This is another incredible opportunity to explore space and enrich our knowledge about it.

NASA’s live online broadcast will give us a unique opportunity to observe this epic event in real time. You can watch the broadcast on NASA TV, NASA’s YouTube channel, NASA’s website or on the agency’s official social media pages. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 07:00 p.m. GMT+3 on September 24.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe touches the asteroid Bennu

It will be no less interesting to follow the press conference after landing. During the conference, the capsule with samples will have already arrived in a temporary clean room at the military training site, so scientists will be able to share their first impressions and research results.

Thus, Sunday, September 24, promises to be a day that will be remembered in the history of space discoveries. NASA will broadcast these moments live for us, and this may be the beginning of new discoveries and an understanding of our place in space. Prepare popcorn, because we are waiting for an exciting journey into the depths of space and the times of the formation of our planet and Solar System.

Earlier we reported on how OSIRIS-REx changed its speed by 3 millimeters.

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