NASA to Unveil Asteroid Sample from OSIRIS-REx Mission in Live Reveal Event

NASA is set to provide the public with an exciting glimpse into the asteroid sample brought back to Earth by its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in an eagerly anticipated live reveal event. The livestream is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11th, at 11 AM ET, offering a unique opportunity for people worldwide to witness the analysis of this remarkable extraterrestrial material.

The capsule containing rocks and dust collected from the surface of the near-Earth asteroid “Bennu” successfully touched down at a Department of Defense training site in the Utah desert on September 24th. Since then, a dedicated team of scientists has been diligently working on their initial analyses of this invaluable celestial payload.

The OSIRIS-REx mission, which grabbed its sample from Bennu in 2020, spent the following year and a half closely observing the asteroid from its vantage point in space. In May 2021, the spacecraft began its journey back to Earth. After its triumphant return last month, the canister was transported to Houston, Texas, where it is currently located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, eagerly awaiting examination.

Meanwhile, OSIRIS-REx itself is still active in space, embarking on a new mission named OSIRIS-APEX and heading towards another asteroid called Apophis.

Asteroid Bennu, estimated to be over 4.5 billion years old, holds the potential to unlock invaluable insights into the formation of our solar system and the mechanisms that brought the building blocks of life to Earth. Scientists were particularly delighted to discover that the mission had managed to capture more material than initially anticipated. Christopher Sneadr, NASA’s Deputy OSIRIS-REx Curation Lead, noted, “The very best ‘problem’ to have is that there is so much material, it’s taking longer than we expected to collect it.”

With the upcoming livestream event, the world is poised to gain a deeper understanding of the incredible discoveries made within this precious asteroid material. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission promises to provide valuable revelations about our cosmic origins and the mysteries of our solar system.