OSIRIS-REx’s asteroid sample will come down to Earth on Sept. 24. Here’s how to watch it live. (Image Credit: Space.com)
NASA’s first-ever asteroid sample-return mission will land on Earth Sunday morning (Sept. 24), and you can watch the whole thing live.
A small capsule containing the asteroid sample collected by the OSIRIS-REx probe is expected to touch down at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range near Dugway a few minutes before 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT or 9 a.m. local time).
Space.com will stream landing coverage from NASA Television, which will begin at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). NASA also plans a Spanish-language broadcast on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and YouTube. The coverage will continue until the sample reaches a clean room near the landing site.
The $1 billion OSIRIS-REx (which stands for “Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer”) mission successfully snagged a sample from asteroid Bennu in October 2020. The spacecraft’s descent capsule will bring the precious sample back to Earth.
Other OSIRIS-REx events are listed below.
Friday, Sept. 22
1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT): NASA plans a status update on the mission, covering matters such as the final adjustments in the trajectory and what to expect during the landing and the capsule recovery. Audio of the call will stream live on NASA’s website, and we will simulcast live here at Space.com.
- Lori Glaze, director, Planetary Sciences Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington
- Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
- Sandra Freund, OSIRIS-REx program manager, Lockheed Martin
- Nicole Lunning, OSIRIS-REx curation lead, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston
- Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, University of Arizona
Sunday, Sept. 24
5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT or 3 p.m. local time): OSIRIS-REx team members are expected to deliver a post-landing news conference at 5 p.m. EDT. The timing may vary depending on mission events. Live coverage will also be available here at Space.com, via NASA Television. We will provide updates on who will be at that press conference when that information is public.
Wednesday, Oct. 11
11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT): NASA plans a new conference for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample reveal. We will simulcast the coverage at Space.com and will provide more information about that event when it is available.
OSIRIS-REx’s sample will help scientists better understand how the solar system formed and evoloved. Since only so much information can be obtained from afar, NASA and other space agencies periodically bring samples of space objects back to Earth to probe our solar system’s early days.
While investigations of the asteroid sample continue on Earth in the coming years, the main spacecraft will continue on to study the near-Earth asteroid Apophis, under a renamed mission called OSIRIS-APEX. The probe will reach Apophis in 2029.