OSIRIS-REx Mission Explained


After a seven-year mission to a remote carbonaceous asteroid called Bennu, a small sample container blazed through the Earth’s atmosphere Sunday morning returning the first ever samples from that object. As explained in this week’s NASA video, the entire mission was conducted autonomously, although in mid-mission, NASA had to reprogram the satellite so it could land on Bennu’s unexpectedly rough surface without tipping over. It did and successfully navigated back to Earth over the next two years. The vehicle scooped up about 300 grams of material that’s expected to provide important knowledge about the origins of the universe.

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  1. I am at a loss for words about this achievement. Unfortunately, words like “awesome” have lost their meaning through misuse. I am amazed that this was conceived and pulled off. It is fantastic.

  2. Remarkable achievement, especially considering the advances in autonomous ops developed in the seven years since launch.

  3. Interesting that they chose for it to come down at the site of former chemical and biological weapons testing……………

  4. I delayed a flight in my Pitts and watched this live on the NASA channel. This and many other displays of science and engineering feats coupled, to produce such incredible mission results in our Space Exploration are simply amazing.

  5. Imagine asteroid Bennu as a time capsule from the early days of our solar system. What an amazing scientific feat. Congratulations NASA!

  6. Thank you editorial staff for including this kind of coverage. What an achievement! I wish all the readers who read AvWeb solely so they can comment negatively on the FAA, NTSB, NASA, miscellaneous other government agencies and just about anything else under the sun would also read coverage like this.

  7. Curiosity about our origins aside, … What are we doing spending money and resources risking the importation of unknown organisms to our planet? Just because we didn’t happen to find dangerous organisms on the Moon doesn’t establish that all extra-terrestrial visits are safe from virulent or dangerous organisms. I’m unhappy about tax dollars being used to entertain philosophical curiosity-seekers, and have zero interest in revisiting dusty rocks like the Moon.