From Space to Earth: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Prepares for First Asteroid Sample Return
The first asteroid sample: Closest image of the massive asteroid Bennu as it passes near Earth (Photo: Sky News)
On August 30th, media are invited to delve into NASA’s preparations as they gear up to welcome the United States very first asteroid sample collected from space
During this visit, as outlined in the NASA article, there will be a scheduled press conference to discuss the landing and retrieval strategies for the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer) sample capsule. This event will take place at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range, expected no earlier than 5 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. MDT).
The press conference will be broadcasted on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s official website. This enlightening session will center on the arrangements and strategies for accepting the first asteroid sample collected in space from the United States.
Apart from the press briefing, those physically present at the event will be granted the opportunity to conduct interviews with members of the OSIRIS-REx mission team, take a tour of the temporary clean room where the first asteroid sample capsule will undergo disassembly, and visit the periphery of the capsule’s landing zone.
News conference participants are:
- Melissa Morris holds the position of OSIRIS-REx program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
- Dante Lauretta serves as the principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx and is affiliated with the University of Arizona in Tucson.
- Rich Burns functions as the project manager for OSIRIS-REx at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center located in Greenbelt, Maryland.
- Sandra Freund manages the OSIRIS-REx program at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado.
- Kevin Righter is the deputy curation lead for OSIRIS-REx and works at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
How to Participate Virtually in News Conference and Witness the First Asteroid Sample Release
In published article from Mirage News, for U.S. media aiming to be present at the in-person news conference, online registration must be completed by 3 p.m. MDT (5 p.m. EDT) on Monday, Aug. 14. Once attendance is confirmed, NASA will send out further information regarding the news conference via email. For virtual participation in the news conference, media representatives need to provide their complete name, affiliation, email address, and contact number to Alana Johnson at [email protected]. This information should be sent no later than two hours before the call begins.
You can access NASA’s media accreditation policy on the internet.
On September 24th, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will draw near to Earth and release its sample return capsule into the atmosphere, guiding it to touch down at the Utah Test and Training Range.
This moment will signify the conclusion of a seven-year expedition aimed at exploring asteroid Bennu, collecting the first asteroid sample from its surface, and ferrying it back to Earth for thorough examination. Researchers worldwide will dedicate years to analyzing this first asteroid sample, unraveling insights into the genesis of our planet and the solar system, along with the potential origins of organic matter that might have contributed to life on Earth.
In the week commencing August 30th, the OSIRIS-REx mission team is actively evaluating their strategies for landing and recovery of the first asteroid sample. Their aim is to streamline the process, ensuring swift and secure retrieval of the first asteroid sample capsule from the desert terrain. The capsule will then be transported to a controlled environment on the base, guarding the precious rocks and dust collected from Bennu’s surface, against earthly contaminants.
For more details about NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/osiris-rex