June 7, 2023

Media advisory: Media invited to watch OSIRIS-REx sample recovery rehearsal

  • What: OSIRIS-REx sample recovery rehearsal exercise
  • When: June 27, 7:45 a.m.-1 p.m. (MDT), and June 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (MDT)
  • Where: Lockheed Martin, 12257 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, CO
  • RSVP: Media should RSVP by June 20 to Lauren Duda, lauren.e.duda@lmco.com. Media representatives who are not U.S. citizens or do not have permanent resident status should RSVP no later than June 15 to allow sufficient time for credentialing.

LITTLETON, Colo. – Media are invited to attend the first major asteroid sample recovery rehearsal for the OSIRIS-REx mission, happening at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, June 27-28, on the heels of World Asteroid Day.

Led by the University of Arizona, OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. sample return mission to an asteroid, and it will provide the largest extraterrestrial sample since the Apollo moon landings – bringing material from asteroid Bennu to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The samples from Bennu will help researchers study the origins of molecules that may have led to life on Earth.

As part of this opportunity, media will be able to:

  • Watch scientists and engineers conduct a sample capsule recovery practice outdoors, with an additional, optional availability to view a clean room rehearsal the following day.
  • Film and photograph rehearsal activities.
  • Interview experts from NASA, UArizona and Lockheed Martin, including:
    • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS -REx principal investigator, UArizona
    • Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • Sandy Freund, OSIRIS-REx mission operations manager, Lockheed Martin
  • Tour Lockheed Martin's Mission Operations Area, from where OSIRIS-REx is operated.

A full schedule of events and additional details are below. If you are interested in attending one or both days of media activities, please contact Lauren Duda at lauren.e.duda@lmco.com no later than June 20.

Schedule of Events

June 27:

  • 7:45 a.m. (MDT) | Arrive at Lockheed Martin Visitor's Center (Littleton, Colorado)
  • 8:45-10 a.m. | Watch rehearsal of sample return capsule recovery
  • 10-11 a.m. | Interview availability with mission experts
  • 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. | Tour Lockheed Martin Mission Operations Area 
  • 12-12:45 p.m. | Lunch provided
  • 12:45-1 p.m. | Event concludes

June 28:

  • 9 a.m. (MDT) | Arrive at Lockheed Martin Visitor's Center (Littleton, Colorado)
  • 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Watch clean room rehearsal
  • 12-12:45 p.m. | Interview availability with mission scientists
  • 12:45-1 p.m. | Event concludes

# # #

Media contacts:
Lauren Duda
Lockheed Martin Space

Daniel Stolte
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 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 $770 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.

The University of Arizona Land Acknowledgement