Final Rehearsal Prepares Mission Team for Sept. 24 Bennu Sample Retrieval

September 5, 2023 -
Image shows a capsule attached to its parachute on the ground.

A capsule descends toward the ground under a parachute on Aug. 30, 2023. Credit: NASA/Keegan Barber.

Though there are only a few weeks left until the mission’s seven-year journey comes to its climactic end, the mood of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx team is calm. After months of rehearsals, it was clear during the final dress rehearsal this week in Utah that the team has mastered the intricate steps required to retrieve the sample of asteroid Bennu after it lands on Earth on Sept. 24.

On Aug. 28 – 30, OSIRIS-REx team members simulated the procedures they will follow next month to navigate the spacecraft to Earth, instruct it to release the capsule carrying the asteroid sample, monitor the capsule as it flies through the atmosphere onto a predetermined landing ellipse at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range, quickly retrieve it from the ground to prevent contamination from Earth’s environment, and transport it by helicopter to a temporary clean room on the range.

Read more at NASA’s OSIRIS-REx blog ->

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