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Space Minute PSA Series #6: OSIRIS-REx

Launched from Cape Canaveral in 2016, the OSIRIS-REx is a fascinating mission that calls for a spacecraft to travel to a 4.5-billion-year-old asteroid called Bennu to take a sample of its surface material, known as regolith. As with many major space endeavors, this one has involved three Florida Institute of Technology alumni in key leadership roles.

The spacecraft won’t arrive at Bennu until August 2018, and it will then carry out more than a year of surveying the big rock. Efforts to sample won’t start until 2020, and it won’t get back to Earth until 2023, concluding its seven-year journey.

But when it gets back, assuming the sampling went as planned, we could be on track to answer some of science’s most intriguing questions: Where did we come from? What can we learn about the history of the sun and planets?

They say the best things in life are worth waiting for right? The OSIRIS-Rex team will keep watching the skies.

Captain Winston Scott is a retired U.S. Navy fighter pilot and astronaut who flew on two space shuttle missions and walked in space three times. He’s now an administrator and faculty member at the Florida Institute of Technology. More information on Space Minutes at wfit.org.

Terri Wright has held the position of General Manager at WFIT since 1998.