OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission, launched into space at 7:05 p.m. EDT on Sept. 8 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
“With today’s successful launch, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft embarks on a journey of exploration to Bennu,” said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team that made this mission a reality, and I can’t wait to see what we will discover at Bennu.”
MISSION STATUS REPORT: ONE WEEK AFTER LAUNCH
One week post-launch, OSIRIS-REx remains healthy and is on track for its journey to the asteroid Bennu. As of noon EDT on Sept. 15, the spacecraft was approximately 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) from Earth, traveling at approximately 12,300 miles per hour (19,800 kilometers per hour) relative to Earth. All of the spacecraft’s subsystems are operating as expected.
The spacecraft's star tracker captured its first image, which shows the Sculptor, Piscis Austrinus and Grus constellations, on Sept. 12.
WATCH: LAUNCH HIGHLIGHTS
From rocket roll-out to spacecraft separation: United Launch Alliance produced a beautiful highlights reel of the OSIRIS-REx launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sept. 8.
Thousands of spectators, including OSIRIS-REx team members and their families, watched the spacecraft's spectacular launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Launch week also included press briefings and a #NASASocial event hosted by NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Browse more pictures of launch and OSIRIS-REx's time in Florida.