OSIRIS-REx Return Cruise/Extended Mission to Apophis

  • Released Wednesday, July 26th, 2023
  • Updated Thursday, July 27th, 2023 at 12:06PM
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Top-down view of OSIRIS-REx’s return to Earth after studying asteroid Bennu. A sample of Bennu’s surface carried by the spacecraft will be deposited at Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The spacecraft will then begin its extended mission - beginning the long journey towards a rendezvous with Apophis in 2029.

OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid, and briefly touched down on near-Earth asteroid Bennu in October 2020 to gather a cupful of material. Seven months later, it departed Bennu on a 1.2-billion-mile cruise back to Earth. OSIRIS-REx will deliver its cargo – a capsule containing the Bennu samples – to Utah’s West Desert on September 24, 2023. After flying past Earth, the spacecraft will adopt a new name for an extended mission. OSIRIS-APEX will spend five-and-a-half years in an elliptical orbit of the Sun and rendezvous with near-Earth asteroid Apophis in 2029. It will orbit and study Apophis for a year-and-a-half and will venture close to its surface to stir up loose material.

The visualizations on this page depict a portion of the return cruise from Bennu to Earth (beginning in July 2022), and the extended-mission cruise to Apophis. The complete return cruise can be found on the OSIRIS-REx orbits, maneuvers, and mapping page.

Top-down view of OSIRIS-REx’s return to Earth after studying asteroid Bennu. A sample of Bennu’s surface carried by the spacecraft will be deposited at Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The spacecraft will then begin its extended mission - beginning the long journey towards a rendezvous with Apophis in 2029. This version includes white marks indicating Trajectory Correction Maneuvers (TCMs) leading up to Earth arrival.

Still Image - OSIRIS-REx headed back to Earth after departing Bennu in May 2021

Still Image - OSIRIS-REx headed back to Earth after departing Bennu in May 2021

Still Image - OSIRIS-APEX arrives at Apophis in April 2029

Still Image - OSIRIS-APEX arrives at Apophis in April 2029

Top-down view of OSIRIS-REx’s return to Earth after studying asteroid Bennu. A sample of Bennu’s surface carried by the spacecraft will be deposited at Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The spacecraft will then begin its extended mission - beginning the long journey towards a rendezvous with Apophis in 2029. This version has no dates.

Top-down view of OSIRIS-REx’s return to Earth after studying asteroid Bennu. A sample of Bennu’s surface carried by the spacecraft will be deposited at Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The spacecraft will then begin its extended mission - beginning the long journey towards a rendezvous with Apophis in 2029. This version uses the Spanish label "Tierra" for Earth.



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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


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