Spacecraft Event
July 4, 2020, 4 a.m.

OSIRIS-Rex Sample Collection

101955 Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx is a NASA asteroid study and sample-return mission. The mission's main goal is to obtain a sample of at least 60 grams from 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous near-Earth asteroid, and return the sample to Earth for a detailed analysis.

Rehearsals will be performed before the sampling event, during which the solar arrays will be raised into a Y-shaped configuration to minimize the chance of dust accumulation during contact and provide more ground clearance in case the spacecraft tips over (up to 45°) during contact. The descent will be very slow to minimize thruster firings prior to contact in order to reduce the likelihood of asteroid surface contamination by unreacted hydrazine propellant. Contact with the surface of Bennu will be detected using accelerometers, and the impact force will be dissipated by a spring in the TAGSAM arm.

Upon surface contact by the TAGSAM instrument, a burst of nitrogen gas will be released, which will blow regolith particles smaller than 2 cm (0.8 in) into the sampler head at the end of the robotic arm. A five-second timer will limit collection time to mitigate the chance of a collision. After the timer expires, the back-away maneuver will initiate a safe departure from the asteroid.


Long March 6
Success
2 days, 14 hours ago
Ningxia 1 (x5)
Unknown Pad - Taiyuan, People's Republic of China

Ningxia 1 is a constellation of remote sensing satellites developed by Dongfanghong Satellite Co., Ltd.


Kuaizhou
Success
2 days, 17 hours ago
Jilin-1-02A
Unknown Pad - Jiuquan, People's Republic of China

Jilin-1 is a series of Chinese commercial remote sensing satellites.


Falcon 9 Block 5
Success
4 days, 6 hours ago
Starlink 1
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of 60 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system. Since the demo launch of...


Long March 3
Success
1 week, 4 days ago
Beidou-3 IGSO-3
Launch Complex 3 ( LC-3 ) ( LA-1 ) - Xichang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

Beidou is a Chinese satellite navigation system. Beidou-3 IGSO-3 is another addition to the part of the constellation consisting of satellites in a...


Long March 4
Success
1 week, 5 days ago
Gaofen-7
Launch Complex 9 - Taiyuan, People's Republic of China

Gaofen is a series of civilian Earth observation satellites developed and launched for the China High-definition Earth Observation System (CHEOS), ...


Antares 230+
Success
1 week, 6 days ago
Cygnus CRS NG-12
Launch Area 0 A - Wallops Island, Virginia, USA

This is the 13th planned flight of the Orbital ATK's uncrewed resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its 12th flight to the International Space Station und...


SARGE
Failure
2 weeks, 6 days ago
SARGE Launch 4
Vertical Launch Area - Spaceport America, NM, USA

The 4th launch of EXOS Aerospace's reusable launch vehicle.


Long March 3
Success
4 weeks, 1 day ago
TJS-4 (TJSW-4)
Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) - Xichang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

TJS-4 is a geosynchronous satellite which is used for multi-band and high-rate satellite communication technology verification.


Electron
Success
4 weeks, 1 day ago
As The Crow Flies
Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 - Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Encapsulated in Electron's fairing will be a single spacecraft for Astro Digital, a California-based satellite manufacturer and operator. The Landm...


Pegasus XL
Success
1 month ago
Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON)
Cape Canaveral - Air launch to orbit

Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) is a NASA mission to study Earth's thermosphere and ionosphere and the connection between space weather and ...