NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Departs Asteroid Bennu
NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft has already spent 5-years in space, and it has started its journey back to Earth with samples asteroid Bennu. At approximately 4:23 p.m. EDT on May 10, 2021, OSIRIS-REx fired its main engines full throttle for seven minutes, thrusting the spacecraft away from the asteroid at 600 miles per hour for a 2.5-year cruise towards Earth. Read more for two videos and additional information.

Once it released the sample capsule, the spacecraft will have completed its primary mission and fire its engines to fly by Earth safely, putting it on a trajectory to circle the sun inside of Venus’ orbit. After successfully orbiting the Sun twice, it’s set to finally reach Earth on Sept. 24, 2023, and upon reentry, the capsule containing pieces of Bennu will separate from the rest of the spacecraft and enter Earth’s atmosphere.

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LEGO City Rocket Assembly & Transport 60229 Building Kit (1055 Pieces)
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OSIRIS-REx’s many accomplishments demonstrated the daring and innovate way in which exploration unfolds in real time. The team rose to the challenge, and now we have a primordial piece of our solar system headed back to Earth where many generations of researchers can unlock its secrets,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters.

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