Star Pavilion Sunday 2023

To Bennu and Back – OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s Asteroid Sample Return mission
In September 2016 NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission launched on a 7 year round trip to collect a sample from asteroid Bennu and return it to Earth for detailed analysis. The wait is nearly over, the spacecraft is due to return its precious cargo to Earth on 24th September 2023. With just a couple of months till Sample Return, the members of the Sample Analysis Team are busy preparing their labs and analytical instruments, while they impatiently wait to receive the first samples later this year. In this talk Sarah will give an overview of the OSIRIS-REx mission, and look at the plans for the Sample Analysis Phase, including UK involvement in the Sample Analysis Team.

Dr Sarah Crowther is a Research Fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at
the University of Manchester. Her research looks at the evolution of the early Solar System through laboratory-based chemical analysis of extra-terrestrial materials. A large part of her research focuses on age-dating meteorites, to unravel the thermal and impact histories of their parent asteroids. Sarah has previously analysed samples returned by NASA’s Genesis mission, the Apollo missions, NASA’s Stardust mission and the Japanese Hayabusa and Hayabusa2 missions. She is a member of the international Sample Analysis Teams who have been selected to be the first to receive samples returned by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.

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