Dr Justin Filiberto observed NASA's OSRIS-Rex Launch

Southern Illinois University

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SIU Geologist observes NASA's OSRIS-Rex Launch

October 25, 2016

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The OSIRIS-REx mission is a NASA New Frontiers-class mission to visit the asteroid 101955 Bennu and return a sample of the surface. The spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018, begin a detailed orbital campaign, and then collect a sample of the surface for return to Earth in 2023. Bennu was chosen for study and sample return because it is a primitive asteroid that has a small chance of hitting the Earth between 2169 and 2199. Bennu is a primitive asteroid that should have water-bearing minerals on the surface. Importantly, these water-bearing minerals will give clues about the origin of water on Earth and possibly even the origin of life on Earth.

You can read Dr Justin Filiberto's summary of the mission and launch here:  American Geophysical Union editor’s Vox (a blog from AGU’s journal editors).