When Will NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Reach the Asteroid Bennu?



Today is history in the making for NASA. The spacecraft OSIRIS-REx is reaching the Asteroid Bennu in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The craft began its journey in September 2016, and this simply marks a monumental next step. The craft won’t actually ever land on Bennu, but it will hover close enough to the surface to gather samples. Read on to find out exactly what time the craft will reach the asteroid.

OSIRIS-REx will reach Bennu at approximately 12 p.m. Eastern (however, NASA’s live stream of the event begins at 11:45 a.m. Eastern, so you’ll want to tune in around that time to make sure you don’t miss it.)

This means that OSIRIS-REx is arriving in the following time zones (approximately):

  • 9 a.m. Pacific
  • 12 p.m. Eastern
  • 11 a.m. Central
  • 5:00 p.m. GMT
  • 4:00 a.m. AET (Australian Eastern)
  • 3:00 a.m. AEST (Australian Eastern Standard)
  • 2:00 a.m. JST (Japan Standard Time)

The time in various cities includes:

  • 9:00 a.m. Los Angeles
  • 3:30 a.m. Adelaide
  • 6 a.m. Auckland (Dec. 4)
  • 6 p.m. Berlin
  • 7 p.m. Cairo
  • 11 a.m. Houston
  • 11 a.m. Mexico City
  • 1 a.m. Beijing (Dec. 4)
  • 6 p.m. Paris
  • 2 p.m. Santiago
  • 10 a.m. Phoenix
  • 9 a.m. Vancouver

See more time zones here.

Remember, this is an approximate time. The actual arrival could be earlier, which is why NASA’s live stream is starting 15 minutes earlier than this time (and its pre-show is starting 45 minutes early.) You can watch the live stream below. NASA will have other programming airing on the stream below before the OSIRIS-REx program starts:

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV's Media ChannelDirect from America's space program to YouTube, watch NASA TV live streaming here to get the latest from our exploration of the universe and learn how we discover our home planet. NASA TV airs a variety of regularly scheduled, pre-recorded educational and public relations programming 24 hours a day on its various channels. The network also provides an array of live programming, such as 24-hour coverage of missions, events (spacewalks, media interviews, educational broadcasts), press conferences and rocket launches. In the United States, NASA Television's Public and Media channels are MPEG-2 digital C-band signals carried by QPSK/DVB-S modulation on satellite AMC-3, transponder 15C, at 87 degrees west longitude. Downlink frequency is 4000 MHz, horizontal polarization, with a data rate of 38.86 Mhz, symbol rate of 28.1115 Ms/s, and ¾ FEC. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception.2017-05-09T17:27:48.000Z

Remember: OSIRIS-REx is not landing on the asteroid today. It’s simply arriving, and then the craft will spend a few weeks surveying the asteroid with low flyovers. It will enter the asteroid’s orbit on New Year’s Eve, NASA currently plans. The craft will never actually touch the asteroid’s surface, but instead will hover over the surface close enough to get a sample. This part will be done around mid-2020. OSIRIS-REx will then depart Bennu in 2021.

OSIRIS-REx will return the sample to Earth in September 2023. The sample will be returned to Earth through a freefall method from space. Once it’s at an altitude of about 20.8 miles, it will deploy the first of two parachutes for a landing in Utah.

Are you excited about the craft’s arrival? Many people are talking about it on Twitter already.

Other exciting things are happening in space news this week too:

Will you be watching the OSIRIS-REx arrival?

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