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Oct. 21, 2020

Media Advisory: UArizona-Led OSIRIS-REx Mission to Release Post-Sampling Video and Images

  • What: NASA will host a post-sampling news conference and release new images and video of the successful Touch-and-Go, or TAG, maneuver executed yesterday.
  • When: Today, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. Arizona time (5 p.m. Eastern)
  • Where: Streaming on NASA Live TV,
  • Electronic press kit for TAG event:
  • Speakers include:
    • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator and University of Arizona professor of planetary sciences
    • Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
    • Sandra Freund, OSIRIS-REx mission operations manager, Lockheed Martin Space

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona-led OSIRIS-REx mission successfully executed its brief touch of the asteroid Bennu yesterday. The event marked NASA's first attempt at collecting an asteroid sample, one that will be analyzed by scientists at UArizona and around the world for decades to come.

Today, NASA will release the images and video collected by the onboard cameras that recorded the Touch-and-Go, or TAG, maneuver every step of the way.

While the TAG maneuver went smoothly, the team is not scheduled to confirm exactly how much sample was collected until the spacecraft weighs the sample in the coming days.

The team will continue to analyze the images beamed back down to Earth from the spacecraft and also be busy recreating the descent trajectory to get an idea of where exactly the spacecraft tagged the surface. This will provide clues to the quality and quantity of the sample that may have been caught in the spacecraft's sampling head.

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Media contacts:
Erin Morton
OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

Mikayla Mace
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 40 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 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 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 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.