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Where is the OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft right now?
The app above shows the trajectory of the OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft and where it is right now. You can also wind the animation backwards in time to watch its launch and its flyby of the Earth before reaching the asteroid Bennu in 2018, and returning samples back to earth in 2023.
OSIRIS-REx launched on 8th September 2016
This mission could help to save the world... quite literally! Bennu is a 500 meter wide asteroid that crosses earths orbit and has a low probablity (about 0.04%) of hitting the earth in the next 200 years. This mission allows this asteroid to be studied in great detail and will return samples of rock to Earth allowing better analysis than has ever been possible before. It will also allow a more accurate the track of the asteroid to be determined so that we will have a better estimate of the chances of impact. Also knowing its structure will (hopefully) allow scientists to develop ways of changing its orbit to protect the Earth if necessary.
Here as some videos that explain this exciting mission:
OSIRIS-REx Launch Video (8 September 2016)
|Sep 8th 2016||Launch|
|Aug 17th 2018||Approach Bennu|
|Mar 18th 2019||Asteroid Survey Begins|
|Jul 4th 2020||Sample Aquisition|
|Mar 3rd 2021||Return|
|Sep 4th 2023||Sample Release. Spacecraft enters solar orbit|
|Sep 24th 2023||Sample Enters Earth atmosphere for recovery|