This Week at NASA: A Historic Asteroid Touch Down and Sample Collection

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OSIRIS-REx TAGs Surface of Asteroid Bennu
After over a decade of planning and countless hours of teamwork, our OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made history this week when it touched an asteroid to collect dust and pebbles from the surface for delivery to Earth in 2023.
OSIRIS-REx Touches Asteroid Bennu
Asteroid Bennu is more than 200 million miles from Earth. This pristine, ancient asteroid offers scientists a window into the early solar system as it was first taking shape billions of years ago.

The team believes that the asteroid sample collection event, called “Touch-And-Go” (TAG), gathered enough of a sample. From here, the team will focus on stowing the sample, where any loose material will be kept safe during the spacecraft’s journey back to Earth for generations of scientific discovery.
Explore the Mission
This Week in Space
Finally Home – Three space travelers including NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy departed the International Space Station after 196 days in space, safely landing back on Earth. Cassidy completed four spacewalks on this mission, his third spaceflight.
Explore Humans In Space
We Go, Together – International cooperation on and around the Moon as part of the Artemis program is taking a step forward with the signing of the Artemis Accords between NASA and seven partner countries. More nations are expected to join us soon.
Learn About the Artemis Accords
Hello, Moon? – Whether our Artemis astronauts are exploring during a moonwalk or aboard the Gateway in lunar orbit, communication is critical. That’s why we’re partnering with Nokia to help bring 4G to the Moon. We’re also investing in power systems and other important lunar technologies.
How We’re Preparing for Long-Term Exploration on the Moon
Seeing the Seas – Earth is changing and we’re sending another satellite to space to help monitor those changes. On Nov. 10, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to measure sea levels worldwide. The data will be used to improve weather forecasts and climate models.
Get to Know the Mission
People Spotlight
Meet Stephanie Fernandez, social media and outreach specialist for the Astronaut Office at our Johnson Space Center.

“There are obvious highlights [about my job] and then there are some highlights that I didn’t really see coming. It’s such an honor to be just one person behind the scenes supporting the crewmembers while they’re up in space and focusing on their missions. It’s such an honor to be a part of them accomplishing their mission. 
 
But one of the highlights that I didn’t necessarily see coming is that a lot of the crew members have become mentors to me now. I look up to them for so many different reasons.” 
Meet More Faces of NASA
Image Spotlight
This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a special class of star-forming nursery known as Free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globules. Called frEGGs for short, these dark compact globules of dust and gas can give birth to low-mass stars.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Sahai
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