NASA will host a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT today, Thursday, Oct. 29, to provide an update on the status of the agency’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft and the mission’s work to safely stow 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 collected in the spacecraft’s Touch-And-Go Sample Arm Mechanism collector head. The team has been working since to stow the primordial cargo for return to Earth next year.

During the teleconference, OSIRIS-REx team members will discuss how the stowage process has gone so far, what else they have learned about the sample, 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:

  • Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Sandra Freund, OSIRIS-REx mission operations manager, Lockheed Martin Space, Littleton, Colorado

For dial-in information, media must send their name, affiliation, and phone number to Alana Johnson at: no later than 3:30 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: