Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Watch Live: OSIRIS-REx Sample Collection Today

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Today, The University of Arizona-led OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will make its first attempt to gather dust and rocks from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. NASA is currently streaming the operation live. While there isn't a live feed from spacecraft itself (which is millions of miles away), the live stream is providing mission details, interviews with scientists and graphics of the spacecraft's maneuvers.

The sample collection timeline is:  
  • 2:50 p.m.: Checkpoint maneuver, in which OSIRIS-REx adjusts its position and speed to begin descending steeply toward the asteroid's surface.
  • 3:01 p.m.: Matchpoint maneuver, in which the spacecraft slows its descent and targets a path to match the asteroid's rotation.

  • 3:12 p.m.: Touch-And-Go maneuver, in which the spacecraft descends to the surface, touches down for about 10 seconds and fires one of its three pressurized nitrogen bottles. The gas agitates and lifts Bennu's surface material, which is then caught in the spacecraft's collector head. The spacecraft will then fire its thrusters to navigate safely away from the asteroid.

  • 3:30 p.m.: Live broadcast ends.
More information and updates can found on OSIRIS-REx's Twitter.

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