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OSIRIS-REx sets space exploration record after reaching Bennu

TUCSON – With people all across the world waiting for the New Year confetti to sprinkle down, out in space, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx was 70 million miles away, setting records.

The OSIRIS-REx mission, which is led by the University of Arizona, launched in 2016 with hopes of catching up with asteroid Bennu on its orbit around the sun. Now that the spacecraft has arrived at the asteroid, it will survey the surface, collect a sample and deliver it safely back to Earth.

At around 12:43 p.m. New Year’s Eve, the OSIRIS-REx carried out a single, eight-second burn of its thrusters. This broke a space exploration record, according to officials.

No press releases from NASA

“The team continued our long string of successes by executing the orbit-insertion maneuver perfectly,” said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “With the navigation campaign coming to an end, we are looking forward to the scientific mapping and sample site selection phase of the mission.”

The spacecraft will come back to Earth with a sample from the asteroid. It will land in the Utah desert on Sept. 24, 2023.


Noel Sederstrom

Noel Sederstrom joined the KTTC-TV staff as News Director in February, 2008. He’s a native Minnesotan, having grown up on a farm near Litchfield, and also spending a lot of time on Lake Vermilion near Tower-Soudan, where his grandfather Gust Saari worked in the Soudan Underground Mine.

After studying journalism at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, Noel worked as a reporter, anchor, producer and Executive Producer at television stations in Duluth, Little Rock, Buffalo, Louisville and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Noel was the News Director at WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo for seven of his 18 years at the CBS affiliate before returning to Minnesota. He and his wife Cindy have two grown children and make their home in Rochester.

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