WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Media are invited to Utah’s western desert on Wednesday, Aug. 30, to learn about NASA preparations and readiness to receive America’s first asteroid sample collected in space.
As part of the visit, NASA will host a news conference on the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer) sample capsule’s landing and recovery plans from the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range no earlier than 5 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. MDT). The news conference will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
In addition to the news conference, in-person participants will have the opportunity to interview OSIRIS-REx mission team members, tour the temporary clean room where the sample capsule will be dissembled, and visit the edge of the capsule’s landing area.
News conference participants are:
- Melissa Morris, OSIRIS-REx program executive, NASA Headquarters, Washington
- Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson
- Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
- Sandra Freund, OSIRIS-REx program manager, Lockheed Martin, Littleton, Colorado
- Kevin Righter, OSIRIS-REx deputy curation lead, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston
U.S. media interested in attending the news conference in-person must register online by 3 p.m. MDT (5 p.m. EDT) on Monday, Aug. 14. NASA will email additional details about the news conference after confirmations of attendance.
To participate in the news conference virtually, media must send their full name, affiliation, email address, and phone number no later than two hours before the start of the call to Alana Johnson at: [email protected].
A copy of NASA’s media accreditation policy is available online.
On Sept. 24, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will approach Earth and release its sample return capsule into the atmosphere on a path to land at the Utah Test and Training Range.
The touchdown will mark the end of a seven-year journey to explore asteroid Bennu, collect a sample from its surface, and deliver it to Earth for study. Scientists around the world will study the sample over the coming decades to learn about how our planet and solar system formed, as well as the origin of organics that may have led to life on Earth.
During the week of Aug. 30, the OSIRIS-REx mission team is testing their landing and recovery plans with the goal of reducing the time to safely retrieve the sample capsule from the desert floor and transport it to a clean room on base, protecting the rocks and dust collected from the surface of Bennu from earthly contaminants.
Find more information about NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission at:
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