A white triangle with a blue inner border. In the middle is a round, grey lump, with a red swoosh wrapped around it. An object with wings hovers over the lump on its top left. Underneath this scene, is the mission name, and underneath that is a brief description of it.


Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer

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An artistic visualization of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft hovering above the surface of Asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft is silver, shiny with two wings on the top and a long extension from the bottom.

OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid. It returned to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023, to drop off a capsule with material from asteroid Bennu. After dropping off the sample through Earth's atmosphere, the spacecraft was renamed OSIRIS-APEX and sent on a new mission to explore asteroid Apophis in 2029.

Mission Type

Sample Return


Asteroid Bennu


Sept. 24, 2023


Collect asteroid sample and deliver it to Earth


Launched on Sept. 8, 2016, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, spacecraft traveled to a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu (formerly 1999 RQ36). It collected a sample of rocks and dust from Bennu's surface on October 20, 2020. 

The spacecraft delivered the sample to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023 when it released a capsule with grains of Bennu over Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule parachuted to the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range, where the OSIRIS-REx team was waiting to retrieve it.

Scientists hope the Bennu sample will reveal whether asteroids that collided with Earth billions of years ago thereby delivered water and other ingredients for life to our planet.

To view more images from the Sept. 24, 2023, asteroid sample arrival in Utah,
visit NASA's OSIRIS-REx Flickr gallery.

Person in cleanroom suit attached a tool to the TAGSAM from outside of the protective barrier

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Team Clears Hurdle to Access Remaining Bennu Sample

Curation team members at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston have successfully removed the two fasteners from the sampler head that had prevented the remainder of OSIRIS-REx’s asteroid Bennu sample material from being accessed.

red, blue and grey OSIRIS-REx logo

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Achieves Sample Mass Milestone

The curation team processing NASA’s asteroid Bennu sample has removed and collected 2.48 ounces (70.3 grams) of rocks and dust from the sampler hardware – surpassing the agency’s goal of bringing at least 60 grams to Earth.

A silver capsule is opened inside a glovebox surrounded by technicians gowned in blue protective suits

Initial Curation of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Sample

The initial curation process for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx  sample of asteroid Bennu is moving slower than anticipated, but for the best reason: the sample runneth over. 


OSIRIS-APEX, a follow-on to OSIRIS-REx, will study the physical changes to asteroid Apophis after the asteroid’s rare close encounter with Earth in 2029.

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