OSIRIS-REx mission timeline

OSIRIS-REx

Overview of the mission's important dates and upcoming events

Date Description
Launch
OSIRIS-REx launches at 7:05 pm ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on an Atlas V rocket.
Gravity assist with Earth
After a year orbiting the Sun, OSIRIS-REx receives a “nudge” from Earth's gravity, sending it on its path to asteroid Bennu.
Approach phase begins
About two million kilometres away from the asteroid, the spacecraft begins its approach phase. OSIRIS-REx sends its first pictures of Bennu back to Earth.
to OSIRIS-REx surveys Bennu
OSIRIS-REx arrives at Bennu. The spacecraft's instruments survey the asteroid, creating a 3D map of its surface features and shape.
to Sample rehearsal
The spacecraft performs flight paths designed to ensure that it can reach the sampling site safely. OSIRIS-REx rehearses its sampling manoeuvres.
OSIRIS-REx samples Bennu
OSIRIS-REx deploys its Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM), which touches down briefly on Bennu's surface and collects a sample. The collected material is safely stored in the Sample Return Capsule.
Return cruise
The spacecraft begins its journey back to Earth.
Sample delivery to Earth
Just outside Earth's atmosphere, OSIRIS-REx releases the Sample Return Capsule for touchdown in the Utah Test and Training Range. The spacecraft sends itself into a stable orbit around the Sun.

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