GOOD THINGS UTAH – The last rehearsal for NASA’s asteroid sample delivery mission is taking place in Utah this week August 28-31 2023.
NASA is preparing the capsule drop, the first time in U.S. history of collecting samples from an asteroid and returning it to Earth.
NASA’s Osiris-REx has been tasked with collecting the sample off asteroid Bennu.
NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) science operations, collected the sample and is headed back to earth on September 24, 2023. The spacecraft has been carrying the sample for the past 2 years.
This will be the culmination of NASA’s 7 year mission. OSIRIS-REx will continue on a 6 year mission to another asteroid.
Anjani Polit is NASA Osiris-REx Systems Engineer from the University of Arizona. Polit describe the precision at which the capsule needs to enter Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule (the size of a tire) is released from the spacecraft (the size of an SUV). the capsule is oriented at exactly the correct angle as it enters the atmosphere and has a heat shield to protect the sample. The capsule will release a drove parachute and then a main parachute to cushion the landing in Utah. It will slow down from 27,000 miles and hour to 10 miles an hour entering Earth’s atmosphere.
U.S. Army and Airforce on the sample delivery and recovery. The capsule will be landing at the Department of Defense Utah testing training range and Dugway Proving ground west of Tooele.
The capsule landing is scheduled for 8:55 am. Sunday September 24, 2023
Watch the NASA live broadcast for the landing.