After landing on an asteroid nearly three years ago Take a sample from its rocky surface, the OSIRIS-REx mission is finally in the home range. NASA is preparing for the special delivery of the rock sample next month, and the agency just had the most realistic rehearsal for the big day.
from July 18 to 20, the team behind the mission trained to retrieve a dummy sample return capsule at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range, the same site where the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will drop the real asteroid sample, NASA books in a blog post.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is It is scheduled to drop a sample from the asteroid Bennu On the 24th of September. The plan is for the spacecraft to drop off its precious payload as it flies by, after which the capsule containing the asteroid samples will make a parachute-assisted landing in the Utah desert. The capsule should descend at 37 miles by 9 miles (59 km by 15 km) about 13 minutes after being launched by the spacecraft, but that’s not even the hard part.
Once it touches the ground, ground teams must move quickly to move the sample to a clean room to avoid contaminating it with material from our planet (which would spoil the entire mission). So, the pressure is on to make this process seamless.