A NASA Spacecraft Is About to Land on an Asteroid And Grab a Sample. Watch It Live | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

A NASA Spacecraft Is About to Land on an Asteroid And Grab a Sample. Watch It Live

OSIRIS-REx is the United States' first asteroid sample return mission, aiming to collect and carry a pristine, unaltered sample from an asteroid back to Earth for scientific study. The spacecraft will attempt to touch the surface of the asteroid Bennu, which is hurtling through space at 63,000 miles per hour (101,000 kilometres per hour).

If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will deploy an 11-foot-long (3-metre-long) robotic arm called TAGSAM – Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism – and spend about 10 seconds collecting at least two ounces (50 grams) of loose rubble from the asteroid. The spacecraft, monitored remotely by a team of scientists and engineers, will then stow away the sample and begin its return to Earth, scheduled for 2023.

You can watch this sample collection "Touch-And-Go" maneuver October 20 at 5:00 pm EDT/ 2:00 pm PDT (2100 UTC) below, or on NASA Television and the agency's website.

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