The University of Arizona is celebrating a mission it's leading to sample and study an asteroid.
OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) launches Sept. 8 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA will air the launch on its website.
The spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, and retrieve 60 grams of surface material from it in 2018 before returning it to Earth for study in 2023.
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday - A live briefing on the NASA site. Social media followers can ask questions to officials.
- 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday - An OSIRIS-REx talk from Kennedy's Operations Support Bulding II, where NASA will host a discussion with representatives from the science and engineering teams.
- 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday - Uncovering the Secrets of Asteroids. NASA scientists will discuss asteroids and their origins online and share a prelaunch webcast on YouTube.
- 1:30 p.m. Thursday - Launch coverage begins on the NASA site with the cryogenic tanking of the Atlas V rocket.
- 4:05 to 6:05 p.m. Thursday - The launch will air live on the NASA site, followed by a press conference two hours later.