NASA Plans OSIRIS-REx Departure – Return to Earth

Following the American space agencies successful landing on asteroid Bennu in October last year, the plans for the return voyage of OSIRIS-REx have been announced.

On May 10 the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx for short) will bid farewell to it’s home away from home, with the possibility of one last flyby on it’s trajectory to Earth.

Deputy Project Manager Michael Moreau said that May puts the spacecraft in the “sweet spot” for fuel consumption, even though this will be the largest maneuver of the mission with a 265 meters per second velocity change calculated.

It’s believed the spacecraft exceeded the mission requirement of 60 grams of sample captured, but confirmation of that won’t be made until OSIRIS-REx returns to Earth on September 24 2023.

We spoke with Project Scientist Jason Dworkin as part of our live coverage of Hayabusa-2’s return in December.

This blog entry is the first of a new series of supporting content for our Talkin’ Science podcast with Dr Brad Tucker which returns on February 2 for it’s third season.

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