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UA celebrates OSIRIS-REx launch

Posted at 5:31 AM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 08:42:00-04

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.

Events include:

  • 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.