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Senior Research Physicist, NASA Goddard Flight Center
12pm EST, Saturday February 20th
Bombshells at Bennu: Revelations from NASA’s First Asteroid Sample Return Mission
NASA selected the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission for implementation on May 25, 2011. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launched on September 8, 2016 and traveled through space for a little over two years before arriving at its target, the asteroid Bennu, in October 2018. After two years of Bennu observations, OSIRIS-REx successfully touched down on the asteroid’s surface and acquired NASA’s first asteroid sample on October 20, 2020. This presentation summarizes the objectives and goals of the OSIRIS-REx mission and gives a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and scientific surprises encountered by the mission’s operations team during asteroid proximity operations and sample acquisition.