August 3, 2021

Launch of asteroid deflection demonstrator slips to November

March 9, 2021

The launch of a NASA spacecraft designed to smash into an asteroid to try out a technique that could protect Earth from threatening space rocks has slipped from July until November, at the earliest, after development delays partially caused by coronavirus-related work slowdowns.

Scientists thrilled with asteroid treasure returned by Japanese spacecraft

December 15, 2020

Japanese space agency officials said Tuesday they found a “large number” of pitch black rock and dust particles after opening a capsule returned to Earth earlier this month by the Hayabusa 2 mission, giving eager scientists their first significant specimens ever brought back from an asteroid.

Japanese asteroid sampling mission on course for return to Earth

December 5, 2020

Six years after departing Earth, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft released a spinning capsule Saturday containing pristine asteroid material for a scorching re-entry and landing in the remote Australian outback, where teams are standing by to retrieve the specimens for analysis.

Scientists release new view from OSIRIS-REx’s asteroid smash and grab

November 2, 2020

Scientists say the touch and go landing by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on an asteroid last month revealed fresh insights into the structure of loose rocks that may cover the surfaces of many small planetary bodies — material that is more akin to a playground ball pit than solid bedrock.

Asteroid samples sealed in OSIRIS-REx return capsule

October 29, 2020

A collection chamber that could contain more than 2 pounds of samples gathered from an asteroid in deep space last week has been sealed inside of a return capsule on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to bring the extraterrestrial specimens back to Earth in 2023, officials announced Thursday.

OSIRIS-REx begins stowing asteroid sample into return capsule

October 28, 2020

Working under close supervision from ground controllers more than 200 million miles away, the robotic arm on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has begun placing specimens collected from an asteroid last week into a return capsule to bring the material back to Earth in 2023, officials said Wednesday.

OSIRIS-REx overflows with asteroid samples after bagging bounty from Bennu

October 23, 2020

The sampling mechanism on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is stuffed with specimens captured from asteroid Bennu earlier this week — so full that some of the rocks are floating out into space. Officials said Friday they will stow the samples inside the mission’s Earth return capsule sooner than planned to minimize the loss of asteroid material.

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