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NASA Invites Media to Briefing on OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Collection

animation of OSIRIS-REx TAGSAM sample maneuver at Bennu 20 Oct 2020
Captured on Oct. 20, during the OSIRIS-REx mission’s Touch-And-Go (TAG) sample collection event, this series of images shows the SamCam imager’s field of view as the NASA spacecraft approaches and touches down on asteroid Bennu’s surface. The sampling event brought the spacecraft all the way down to sample site Nightingale, and the team on Earth received confirmation of successful touchdown at 6:08 pm EDT. Preliminary data show the sampling head touched Bennu’s surface for approximately 6 seconds, after which the spacecraft performed a back-away burn. Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA will host a media teleconference at 5:00 p.m. EDT today, Friday, Oct. 23, to provide an update on the status of the agency’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft and the sample it collected from asteroid Bennu.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made a dramatic six-second touch of Bennu on Oct. 20, and video released the next day indicated a significant amount of particles were agitated on Bennu’s surface and likely collected in the spacecraft’s Touch-And-Go Sample Arm Mechanism collector head.  

During the teleconference, OSIRIS-REx team members will discuss what they know about the sample that has been collected and what the next steps are for the mission to return the sample to Earth.

The teleconference audio and visuals will stream live at:

Briefing participants include:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson

For dial-in information, media must send their name, affiliation and phone number to Alana Johnson at: no later than 4:30 p.m. today.

Studying Bennu with OSIRIS-REx allows researchers to learn more about the origins of our solar system, the sources of water and organic molecules on Earth, and the hazards and resources in near-Earth space. 

For more information on OSIRIS-REx, visit:



Grey Hautaluoma / Alana Johnson
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0668 / 202-358-1501 /

Nancy Neal Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Erin Morton
University of Arizona, Tucson