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Sept. 20, 2023

Media advisory: How media can cover and follow the OSIRIS-REx sample capsule landing

  • What: OSIRIS-REx mission team members available for media interviews before and during NASA's live broadcast of historic sample delivery
  • Where: The Michael J. Drake Building, located at 1415 N. 6th Ave., Tucson
  • When: Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
  • RSVP: Media planning to attend the Michael J. Drake Building event, please RSVP to by Saturday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Led by the University of Arizona, the OSIRIS-REx mission will deliver NASA's first asteroid sample collected in space to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 24. The sample will land in the Utah desert, where scientists are eagerly awaiting its arrival. Media will have multiple opportunities to prepare for sample delivery and conduct interviews with mission team members.

Local media can interview mission team members the morning of sample delivery during a watch party at the Michael J. Drake Building – the former headquarters of the mission's science team. Media members can also watch the beginning of NASA's live broadcast with the team during the start of their watch party celebration.

NASA's live coverage of the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Regolith Explorer) capsule landing starts at 7 a.m. Arizona time (8 a.m. MDT/10 a.m. EDT) and will air on NASA TV, the NASA app and the agency's website. Watch online at

In addition to the English broadcast, NASA will stream coverage in Spanish of the landing beginning at 7 a.m. Arizona time (8 a.m. MDT/10 a.m. EDT) on X, Facebook and YouTube.

Friday's pre-landing media call

Prior to landing, NASA also will host a media call to provide a status update at noon Arizona time (1 p.m. MDT/3 p.m. EDT) on Friday, Sept. 22.

To successfully deliver a sample from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, spacecraft operators need to ensure OSIRIS-REx travels at the right speed and direction to release the sample capsule into the atmosphere, landing it on the Utah range. Mission leadership will discuss the results of the spacecraft's final trajectory maneuvers and expectations for the capsule's entry, descent and landing, along with plans for recovery operations.

Audio of the call will stream live on NASA's website.

Participants include:

  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, UArizona
  • Lori Glaze, director, Planetary Sciences Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Sandra Freund, OSIRIS-REx program manager, Lockheed Martin
  • Nicole Lunning, OSIRIS-REx curation lead, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston

To participate in the teleconference, media members must send their full name, affiliation, email address and phone number no later than two hours before the start of the call to Alana Johnson at

Two more OSIRIS-REx activities happening Sept. 22 include:

  • Remote interviews: NASA will offer live and taped interviews with members of the OSIRIS-REx team and subject matter experts. Interviews will be conducted remotely using video chat programs, primarily Zoom, in nine-minute time slots beginning at 3 a.m. Arizona time (4 a.m. MDT/6 a.m. EDT). Media can request interviews online.
  • Stamp first day of issue ceremony: The U.S. Postal Service will hold a first day of issue ceremony for a stamp featuring OSIRIS-REx at Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City at 10 a.m. Arizona time (11 a.m. MDT). The USPS news release provides more information about the event, which media are invited to attend.

Sunday's post-landing news conference

A post-landing news conference will occur at about 2 p.m. Arizona time (3 p.m. MDT/5 p.m. EDT), when the sample capsule arrives at a temporary clean room on the U.S. Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range, about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City. Coverage will air on NASA TV, the NASA app and the agency's website.

To submit questions during the briefing, media members must send their full name, affiliation, email address and phone number no later than two hours before the start of the call to Alana Johnson at:

Media unable to record the broadcast can find it posted later in the day at NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.

# # #

University of Arizona media contact:

NASA media contacts:
Karen Fox | Alana Johnson
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
202-358-1275 | 202-358-1501 |

Rani Gran | Rob Garner
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
301-332-6975 | 301-286-5687 |

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2021 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $824 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 71 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. and Canada. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.


Astronomy OSIRIS-REx Space