NASA to Stow OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Samples Ahead of Schedule

NASA to Stow OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Samples Ahead of Schedule
OSIRIS-REx Stowing NASA

NASA is preparing to transport and stow a large collection of surface samples from the Bennu asteroid to a sample return capsule (SRC). The space agency said Tuesday it wants to move the samples ahead of schedule to avoid further spilling out from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

A recently captured space image depicts particles of the samples spilling out of a gap on the spacecraft's Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, the mission's sample collection system. Large rocks have created an opening on TAGSAM's mylar flap, causing some particles to escape.

"The abundance of material we collected from Bennu made it possible to expedite our decision to stow,” said Dante Lauretta, who leds the OSIRIS-REx effort from the University of Arizona, Tucson.

The OSIRIS-REx team will transmit preliminary commands to the spacecraft before active stowing procedures take place. The spacecraft will return to Earth after the samples are safely sealed inside SRC.

You may also be interested in...

Bruce Caswell

Maximus Reports Q4 FY 2020 Results; Bruce Caswell Quoted

Maximus has reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year, which ended Sept. 30, 2020. for fiscal 2020, revenue increased to $3.46 billion compared to $2.89 billion reported for the same period last year. Maximus reported organic growth of 15.7 percent in fiscal 2020, or 4.6 percent excluding the Census contract.