Watch NASA’s OSIRIS-REx try to collect an asteroid sample at 5 PM ET Video!

The space agency will broadcast a simulation of the mission.

Later today, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will attempt to briefly make contact with the asteroid Bennu to collect samples from the surface of the planetoid.

Image: Social Media

Since 2018, the craft has been studying Bennu, sending NASA images and telemetry on the asteroid as it travels through our solar system. You can watch a simulation of the mission unfold here starting at 5 PM ET, with the crucial touch-and-go maneuver set to take place at 6:12 PM ET.

At that point, the space agency will attempt to land OSIRIS-REX on a rocky outcropping just 52 feet in diameter.

If all goes according to plan, the sample OSIRIS-REX brings back to Earth will be the largest NASA has obtained since the Apollo era. The hope is that the material can help give scientists a better understanding of how our solar system formed. On Wednesday, NASA will hold a press conference where it will detail how the mission went, and release close-up images of the asteroid.

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