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OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission to Bennu: A Familiar and a Foreign World
Wednesday June 9, 2021
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission has made important scientific discoveries along its journey and overcome unforeseen challenges including house-sized boulders in its path and pandemic. The mission combines the best of engineering, astronomy, remote sensing, and sample analysis, making ground-truth comparisons of distant astronomical observations and asteroid materials up close. Bennu is a “rubble-pile” asteroid that reveals information about primordial asteroid formation and history of the Solar System. On October 20, 2020, the never-before-tried Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) collected an abundance of precious, pristine samples that will return to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. We expect the returned samples to reveal important details about Bennu’s parent asteroid and organic materials important to life. This talk will explore some amazing ways the science team was able to combine data from its perfect suite of instruments to select the best sample site and help the sample analysis team compare meteorite types in laboratories that may be similar to Bennu… or not.
Biography:  Dolores H. Hill  Sr. Research Specialist, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona
Since 1981 Dolores has analyzed a wide range of meteorites at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, AZ, provided technical support, and participated in public outreach for space missions and LPL laboratories. Dolores currently works with sample teams for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, LPL laboratories, and coordinates LPL outreach activities. Dolores has a lifelong interest in amateur astronomy. Near-Earth asteroid (164215) Doloreshill is named after her.

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