September 9, 2016 – NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission launched successfully last night from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which was launched aboard the ULA’s Atlas V, is traveling to near-Earth Asteroid Bennu.
OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to reach the asteroid in 2018 to explore and eventually approach the asteroid to obtain a sample, which will be returned to Earth in 2023 for scientists to study. Asteroid Bennu is considered part of the early solar system and is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid. The study of the asteroid’s material will allow researchers to better understand the asteroid orbiting patterns as well as gain further understanding of the origins of life in the solar system.
VPT is extremely proud to have parts onboard this critical mission and congratulates NASA on the mission’s success to date. A mission overview video can be viewed via this link.