OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Departs for New Mission

September 24, 2023 -
Animation of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft firing rockets to manuever away from Earth.

Animation of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft firing rockets to manuever away from Earth.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft completed its final task for this mission when it released its sample capsule toward Earth on September 24, 2023. About 20 minutes after doing so, the spacecraft fired its engines to divert past Earth toward its new mission to asteroid Apophis and was renamed OSIRIS-APEX.

Roughly 1,000 feet wide, Apophis will come within 20,000 miles of Earth – less than one-tenth the distance between Earth and the Moon – in 2029. OSIRIS-APEX is scheduled to enter orbit of Apophis soon after the asteroid’s close approach of Earth to see how the encounter affected the asteroid’s orbit, spin rate, and surface. 

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