One of NASA’s few interplanetary missions is headed out to deep space this week! OSIRIS-REx which launches tomorrow is an asteroid sample return mission to the asteroid Bennu. The mission seeks out answers to how the solar system began and how life began here on Earth. It is believed that asteroids and comets were influential in bringing the much needed building blocks of life (in the form of carbons) to Earth. This mission will enable scientists to finally get their hands on a sample of asteroid terrain to study and understand some of life’s biggest questions. But the scientists will have to be patient because OSIRIS-REx will not reach Bennu until 2018 and will not return the samples until 2023.
Despite the long wait, I’m not the only one hyped for this launch; the one and only Bill Nye the Science Guy will be at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center introducing the launch. So be on the lookout for him during the live coverage. Wait no more… lets get to the list of events! WATCH HERE.
12:00 pm EDT (16:00 GMT) NASA Social Info
1:00 pm EDT (17:00 GMT) NASA Uncovering the Secrets of Asteroids Briefing
3:30 pm EDT (19:30 GMT) NASA Edge Pre-launch coverage
5:30 pm EDT (21:30 GMT) Official Live coverage of launch starts
7:05 pm EDT (23:05 GMT) Scheduled Time of Launch
If you would like to go to Kennedy Space Center for the launch, they guarantee a spot to watch the launch with Visitor Center admission. They also have tickets left if you want to watch the launch on the NASA causeway. You can find that all out here!
If you want your own personal model of the asteroid Bennu, here is NASA’s official 3D printing files for the asteroid.
You can also catch the replay of the OSIRIS-REx News Conference at 10 am EDT 9/7 (14:00 GMT 7/9).