#NationalAeronauticsandSpaceAdministration; #EmpireStateBuilding #(NASA); #UnitedStatesFederalGovernment; #asteroidsample; #SolarSystem; #OSIRIS-REx; #asteroidBennu; #LoriGlaze; #PlanetaryScienceDivision, #Washington; #DanteLauretta, #OSIRIS-REx #UniversityofArizona, #Tucson; #CoralieAdam, #KinetX, #IncSpaceNavigation; #FlightDynamics, #SimiValley, #California; #RichBurns
Toronto, Mar 15 (Canadian-Media): An announcement would be made in a media conference hosted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at 1:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 19, regarding the return mission of an asteroid sample -- from the agency’s first mission -- that may contain unaltered material from the very beginning of our solar system, media reports said.
Established in 1958, NASA is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft launched Sept. 8, 2016, and began orbiting the asteroid Bennu on Dec. 31, 2018.
OSIRIS-REx. Image credit: NASA
Since its arrival at Bennu, the probe has been investigating the asteroid and searching for an ideal site for sample collection.
Bennu, only slightly wider than the height of the Empire State Building, an American cultural icon in New York, and is the smallest body ever orbited by spacecraft.
As planned, the spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023.
Studying Bennu with OSIRIS-REx will allow researchers to learn more about the origins of our solar system, the sources of water and organic molecules on Earth, and the hazards and resources in near-Earth space.
The teleconference participants would be: Lori Glaze, acting director, NASA’s Planetary Science Division, Washington; Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson; Coralie Adam, OSIRIS-REx flight navigator, KinetX, Inc. Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics, Simi Valley, California; Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.