Tomorrow Night, Watch OSIRIS-REx Blast Off Towards An Asteroid

Ready for launch
OSIRIS-REx being transported from the PHSF to the VIF at Pad 41, then lifted to the Atlas V vehicle in preparation for launch. NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

Tomorrow evening, at 7:05 P.M. (EDT), the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will blast off, headed for the asteroid Bennu.

Members of the public are invited to NASA’s Goddard Space Center to celebrate the launch, but if you can’t make it out to Maryland, you can watch the launch live on NASA TV, with coverage of the launch starting at 5:30 P. M. (EDT).

A few years after it leaves Earth, the spacecraft will eventually rendezvous with the asteroid, map the asteroid, get better measurements about the asteroid’s trajectory, and most excitingly, collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface.