On September 24, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will return a sample of Bennu to Earth.
The recovery team must act quickly.
The capsule carrying the sample will make a parachute-assisted landing inside a 37-mile by 9-mile (59 km by 15 km) ellipse in the Utah desert. It must be retrieved quickly to avoid ground contamination entering the capsule and spoiling the sample.
With this in mind, the OSIRIS-REx mission team conducted a thorough rehearsal of their spacecraft’s asteroid sample retrieval on July 18-20.
Rehearsing an asteroid sample recovery
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft landed on the asteroid Bennu three years ago and collected a sample of its rocky surface. It is now in the final stages of its return journey and the team behind the recovery is making final preparations, A NASA blog post Revealing