Exploring Space Lectures

Sampling an Asteroid to Understand the Birth of Our Planet

April 27, 2021 | 8 - 9pm

Presented Online

Free

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Discover how we sampled an asteroid — and what we hope to learn when the samples return to Earth

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This Exploring Space lecture will be presented live on YouTube. Don’t miss the program! Sign up to get a reminder.

Last year, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission accomplished something not done in nearly 50 years by a U.S. space mission — sampling the surface of another planetary body for return to Earth. In this talk, you'll hear about the 15 year odyssey of proposing, building, and launching OSIRIS-REx, leading up to a year-long orbital mission and the moment OSIRIS-REx sampled the surface of asteroid Bennu. As we wait for the return of these samples in 2023, you’ll hear from Smithsonian geologist Tim McCoy about how these samples may hold the key to understanding the formation of Earth, providing the raw materials for life and oceans. 

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This program will be presented with live closed captioning.

About the Exploring Space Lecture Series

The Worlds We’ve Touched: Robotic Missions to Other Worlds 
Missions that visit and sample other worlds give us a different perspective and expand our understanding in new ways. Mars, Venus, Titan, Bennu: Our understanding of these distant worlds are enhanced by incredible robotic missions that reached out and touched them. Discover more programs in the series.

The Exploring Space Lecture Series is made possible by the generous support of Aerojet Rocketdyne and United Launch Alliance.

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