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) and collected a sample of rocks and dust from the surface.
The spacecraft delivered the sample to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. It released the capsule holding pieces 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.
This mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth.