Skip to main content

How to watch NASA reveal the Bennu asteroid sample

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

NASA is set to reveal the sample collected from the Bennu asteroid during the OSIRIS-REx mission.

The space agency will livestream the event on Wednesday. See below for full details on how to watch.

The OSIRIS-REx mission marked NASA’s first-ever sample retrieval from a distant asteroid in a complex operation that involved landing a spacecraft on the rock, grabbing and storing materials from it, and then bringing them all the way to Earth.

The mission launched in September 2016, with the spacecraft collecting the sample four years later. Its long journey back to Earth ended last month when it dropped off the sample in a capsule that landed in the Utah desert, exactly as planned.

After being held for a short while in a clean room near the landing site, the capsule was transported to the Johnson Space Center in Houston where it will be opened, allowing the start of years of scientific study that researchers hope will tell us more about the formation of our solar system and even offer insight into how life on Earth began.

Commenting on the successful mission, NASA chief Bill Nelson said OSIRIS-REx has “brought something extraordinary: the largest asteroid sample ever received on Earth.”

Nelson added: “It’s going to help scientists investigate planet formation, it’s going to improve our understanding of asteroids that could possibly impact the Earth, and it’ll deepen our understanding of the origin of our solar system and its formation.

The NASA boss said the mission proved that “NASA does big things — things that inspire us, things that unite us, things that show that nothing is beyond our reach.”

Scientists are currently performing an initial analysis of the sample that should offer a basic understanding of the Bennu material. Analytical instruments being deployed include a scanning electron microscope (SEM), infrared measurements, and x-ray diffraction (XRD), to gain a better understanding of the sample.

How to watch

NASA will reveal the sample gathered from the Bennu asteroid at a special event starting at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, October 11.

You can watch it via the video player embedded at the top of this page, or by visiting NASA TV, which will carry the same feed.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
NASA reveals target date for first crewed Starliner flight
Boeing Space's Starliner spacecraft.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Boeing / Boeing

NASA and Boeing are making the final preparations for the long-awaited and much-delayed maiden crewed flight of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

Read more
How to safely watch April’s total solar eclipse, in person or online
A person watches the annular solar eclipse of October 14, 2023, in Kerrville, Texas.

Next month will see a rare and exciting astronomical event: a total solar eclipse that will be viewable across much of North America. On Monday, April 8, the moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, blocking out the sun's rays and temporarily causing dusk, then darkness in the middle of the day.

In 15 U.S. states, darkness will descend for several minutes across the course of an hour, enabling a unique experience for those within the viewing radius. But though this is a wonderous event to behold, you'll need to be careful if you wish to view the eclipse, as doing so without the right equipment can damage your eyes. NASA has shared tips on how to safely view the eclipse, and the agency will also provide a live stream of views of the eclipse for those who can't see it in person.
How to view the solar eclipse safely
A person watches the annular solar eclipse of October 14, 2023, in Kerrville, Texas. NASA

Read more
How to photograph April’s solar eclipse, according to NASA
A total solar eclipse.

Nikon recently shared some tips on photographing April’s total solar eclipse, and NASA is also offering its own ideas.

The total solar eclipse will take place on April 8, and folks in the U.S. will have a great opportunity to witness this extraordinary celestial event. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the sun and Earth, momentarily blocking the sun’s rays and casting a huge shadow across a part of our planet.

Read more