Following Science in Space: NASA’s Asteroid Mission

Love space science? Follow us on Instagram for live STEM events throughout the year, including the SpaceX Crew Dragon test flight on March 2, 2019.

Two and a half years ago on September 8, 2016, I was able to witness the launch of OSIRIS-REx to share with our school community.

I’m sure you’re wondering what that means, right? OSIRIS-REx is a NASA asteroid study and sample return mission. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security Regolith Explorer. Its main goal is to obtain a sample of at least 60 grams of rock from an asteroid called Bennu, a near-earth asteroid with lots of carbon in it. Now if you’re wondering exactly how much 60 grams is, one candy Skittles is approximately 1 gram. Imagine 60 of those and that’s how much of Bennu we will be bringing back to the Earth. And wait for it…it will take seven years before the mission is completed!

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