WALL TOWNSHIP — As part of its ongoing education and public outreach mission, InfoAge, through its InfoAge Space Exploration Center [ISEC] will host a watch party for the return of asteroid samples by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.
At 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24, doors will open and coverage of the NASA mission home from the asteroid will begin. Admission to the event is $12 per adult and $8 per child 12 and under, which includes entry to all museums at the InfoAge complex. Light refreshments will be provided.
“Seven years ago, NASA launched its first mission to return samples from an asteroid named  Bennu. The spacecraft, called OSIRIS-REx, revealed a world littered with potentially mission-ending rocks and boulders,” according to a press release from InfoAge. “After nearly a year of searching, a safe place was found to grab a sample. Once the precious cargo was stored safely aboard, OSIRIS-REx headed back to Earth.”
“OSIRIS-REx” stands for “Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security – Regolith Explorer.” Essentially, the mission involves an unmanned spacecraft designed specifically to gather at least 2.1 ounces of material from Bennu. The craft, built by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, remained on-site—some 300,000 miles from Earth—for a total of 889 days.
“We will have a live NASA feed of all the events, locally hosted by NASA Ambassador Frank O’Brien,” said InfoAge’s Steve Lang.
According to the release, at approximately 10:53 a.m., the spacecraft is scheduled to touch down at Dugway Proving Ground, a United States Army facility in Utah that was originally used for testing of weapons when it was founded in 1942.
Following that, at noon, Mr. O’Brien will host a recap and mission overview, with an encore presentation of the landing at 2 p.m.
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