In less than a month, NASA will launch the first U.S. spacecraft destined to rendezvous with, study and return a sample of an asteroid. Ahead of this mission, which will yield the largest sample returned from space since the Apollo era, the agency will host a media briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 17.

The briefing will be held in the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, located at 300 E Street SW in Washington, and be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft, approximately the size of a sport utility vehicle, will launch Sept. 8 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on its mission to study, in detail, an asteroid called Bennu. The mission represents a valuable opportunity 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.

The briefing participants will be:

Gordon Johnston, OSIRIS-REx program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington
Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator with the University of Arizona, Tucson
Jeff Grossman, OSIRIS-REx program scientist at NASA Headquarters
Christina Richey, OSIRIS-REx deputy program scientist at NASA Headquarters
Rich Kuhns, OSIRIS-REx program manager with Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver
Mike Donnelly, OSIRIS-REx project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland

Media may ask questions during the event in person and by phone. Members of the public also can ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.

To participate in the briefing by phone, media must email their name, media affiliation and phone number to Felicia Chou at by 1 p.m. Aug. 17.

For NASA TV downlink information and schedules, and to view the news briefing, visit:

More information about the OSIRIS-REx mission is available at: