NASA Invites Media to View Asteroid Sample Recovery Rehearsal

June 8, 2023 -

Artist’s concept of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collecting a sample from the asteroid Bennu. Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Editor’s note: This media advisory was updated Wednesday, June 7, 2023, to correctly reflect the times and dates of the events.

NASA invites media to attend the first major asteroid sample recovery rehearsal for its OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) mission on Tuesday, June 27, to Wednesday, June 28, at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado.

OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. mission to capture a sample from the surface of an asteroid and deliver it back to Earth for the benefit of all. The delivery from asteroid Bennu will arrive Sept. 24, and help researchers study the origins of organics and water that could have led to life on Earth.

Media will have the opportunity to:

  • Watch scientists and engineers conduct a sample capsule recovery practice outdoors, with an additional availability to view a clean room rehearsal the following day
  • Film video and take photos of the rehearsal activities
  • Interview mission experts from NASA, the University of Arizona, and Lockheed Martin
  • Tour Lockheed Martin’s mission operations area from where OSIRIS-REx is operated

International media should RSVP no later than 12 p.m. ET Thursday, June 15, to Lauren Duda at lauren.e.duda@lmco.com to allow time for credentialing. U.S. media interested in attending one or both days of media activities, should RSVP no later than 12 p.m. ET Tuesday, June 20, to Lauren Duda at lauren.e.duda@lmco.com.

Full coverage of the rehearsal is as follows (all times Mountain).

Tuesday, June 27

  • 9 a.m. – Nominal Rehearsal of Sample Return Capsule
  • 10 a.m. – Interview Availability with Mission Experts
  • 11:30 a.m. – Tour Mission Operations Area

Wednesday, June 28

  • 10 a.m. – Watch Nominal Clean Room Rehearsal
  • 12 p.m. – Interview Availability with Mission Experts

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and the safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, Tucson, is the principal investigator. The university leads the science team and the mission’s science observation planning and data processing. Lockheed Martin Space built the spacecraft and provides flight operations. Goddard and KinetX Aerospace are responsible for navigating the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Curation for OSIRIS-REx, including processing the sample when it arrives on Earth, will take place at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

For more information about OSIRIS-REx, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/osiris-rex

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Karen Fox / Erin Morton
Headquarters, Washington
301-286-6284 / 202-805-9393
karen.c.fox@nasa.gov / erin.morton@nasa.gov

Last Updated: Jun 7, 2023
Editor: Roxana Bardan

Media Contact

Office of Communications
University of Arizona
520-621-1877
newsinfo@email.arizona.edu