Osiris Rex: To Bennu and Back

Episode 1 of 1

On September 24, 2023, the eyes of the world will be on the OSIRIS-REx team as their asteroid sample returns to earth and the scientific discovery begins. This documentary reveals the incredible challenges, surprises and human triumphs of the nearly twenty-year space mission. OSIRIS-REx launched in 2016 on a mission to return samples from Bennu to Earth. Bennu, an asteroid larger than the Empire State Building, is our solar system’s oldest relic, and can be traced back more than 4.5 billion years. This complicated, first of its kind mission for NASA and the United States began in 2011 and is led by scientists at the University of Arizona. From the very beginning, Arizona Public Media has been there to document what it took to design the spacecraft, send it into space, touchdown on the asteroid Bennu, collect a sample of dust and rocks from its surface, travel back to earth and now, as the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft flies by Earth, witness the release of its sample return capsule which is designed to parachute to safety in the Utah desert. So far, the innovative mission has been successful at every turn putting pressure on these final steps. The team headed by Dante Lauretta has faced many personal challenges and triumphs. This mission is one of the deepest explorations into the origin of life on earth and Arizona Public Media has had one-of-a-kind access to each exciting step of the entire process.

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