News

Asteroid missions on track to reach their destinations in 2018

18 January 2018 Stephen Clark

Pioneering spacecraft from NASA and the Japanese space agency promise to reveal two unexplored asteroids later this year, officials said Wednesday, beginning surveys that will culminate in daring descents to capture samples for return to Earth, where eager scientists await a hands-on look at the specimens.

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe moonlights as asteroid sleuth

1 February 2017 Stephen Clark

On course to collect specimens from asteroid Bennu after its launch last year, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will search this month for objects sharing an orbit with Earth, a bonus science opportunity to locate possible fragments of the primordial building blocks that formed our home planet.

News

One of NASA’s cleanest spacecraft ever is ready to fly

24 August 2016 Stephen Clark

Five years after winning $1 billion from NASA to mount the first U.S. asteroid sample return mission, scientists and engineers will get their last look at the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft this week as it is closed up inside the nose cone of an Atlas 5 rocket for launch in September.

News

Watch the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission briefing

21 August 2016 Astronomy Now

Watch as NASA holds a news conference at its Washington, D.C. headquarters to provide a preview of its OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu and back. The mission is scheduled to launch on 8 September, reach the asteroid in 2018, capture a sample of the celestial body in 2020 and bring the specimen back to Earth in a special landing capsule in 2023.