NASA will soon witness the conclusion of its groundbreaking OSIRIS-REx mission, which will bring back rock samples from a distant asteroid. The space agency plans to live stream the homecoming of the capsule carrying the samples, which were collected from the Bennu asteroid in 2020.
The capsule will be released by the spacecraft when it comes within 63,000 miles of Earth’s surface. If the capsule lands safely in the Utah desert and remains intact, the asteroid material it contains could provide valuable insights into the formation of the sun and planets about 4.5 billion years ago and even shed light on the origins of life on Earth.
The OSIRIS-REx mission has already captivated space enthusiasts with stunning footage of the spacecraft landing on Bennu as the rock hurtled through space at 63,000 mph, over 200 million miles away from Earth.
After releasing the capsule, the spacecraft’s work will continue as it redirects to study the Apophis asteroid during the rock’s flyby of Earth in 2029.
To watch the live stream of the OSIRIS-REx mission homecoming, NASA will provide coverage on various platforms, including NASA TV, NASA’s YouTube channel, NASA.gov, the NASA app, and its social media accounts (@NASA). The live stream will start at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, September 24. A post-landing news conference is expected to take place around 5 p.m. ET when the sample capsule reaches the temporary clean room on the military range.
This landmark mission marks the first time NASA has successfully collected and returned rock samples from an asteroid, opening up new opportunities for scientific discovery and exploration. Future generations of scientists will have invaluable resources to study and uncover more about the ancient history of our solar system.