This September 24th ends one of the most complex stages of a mission that has been in progress for seven years. The POT will collect samples from the asteroid Bennu, which the space probe OSIRIS-REx went searching on September 8, 2016. It has been a very long road that does not end today, since the analysis of the samples will now begin.
OSIRIS-REx arrived at the asteroid Bennu in December 2018, and after two years of analysis, it landed on the rock in October 2020. It waited a few months on the surface and in January 2021 it left for Earth again.
It has been traveling for two long years and is already in the areas close to our planet, since those in charge of the mission expect it to be on the 24th of this same month of September.
NASA says through a statement on its official website that the capsule with the remains will fall in a desert area, without specifying the location, we assume for safety reasons. But the process will be on Sunday, September 24 in the morning.
As it approaches Earth, the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx It will not slow down while dropping the sample. Instead, when it reaches 102,000 kilometers above the world’s surface, a message from operators on the ground will trigger the release of the capsule, which will be sent spinning into the atmosphere.
Twenty minutes after descent, the spacecraft will fire its thrusters to detour past Earth toward the asteroid Apophis, where it will continue investigating our solar system under a new name: OSIRIS-APEX (OSIRIS-Apophis Explorer), said the NASA on its portal.
This entire process will be carried out through a live broadcast that NASA schedules for 10:00 in the morning (ET); that is, 11:00 AM in Chile and 8:00 AM in Mexico. We share the link to the space agency’s YouTube channel, so that you are aware of the details.