That made selecting a landing site difficult. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Nightingale was ultimately chosen as the best one. "This is all about understanding our origins," said the mission's principal scientist, Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona. "We'll be able to tell if we were tilted, if gas blew out to the side, if material was sufficiently stirred up," Lauretta said. OSIRIS-REx has three pressurized nitrogen bottles. NASA puts the odds of an impact at 1-in-2,700. Today at … Today at … Scientists consider it a time capsule full of pristine building blocks that could help explain how life formed on Earth and possibly elsewhere. So the spacecraft was designed to ingest small pebbles less than an inch (2 centimeters) across.

The main event of the mission, called the Touch-and-Go sample collection event, or TAG, is scheduled for October 20 at 5 p.m. On October 20, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will briefly touchdown on the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and attempt the agency's first sample collection from an asteroid … Bennu was chosen because it's close to Earth and represents a "time capsule" from the early solar system. The mission will attempt the agency's first sample collection from an asteroid that will be returned to Earth.

However, if successful, OSIRIS-REx would go down in history as the most important sample return mission so far. The science team is aiming for at least two ounces and up to four pounds of material. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will descend to the surface of Bennu and attempt to collect a sample at 6:12 p.m. EDT (22:12 UTC) on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The Nightingale landing site is surrounded by hazards, so the mission will need to be executed with the utmost precision. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will collect a sample of rocks, dust and debris from the asteroid called Bennu—currently 200 million miles away—and then fly it back to Earth. With more mail-in ballots, officials urge patience on election night, Americans and the right to vote: Why it's not easy for everyone, Why some mail-in ballots are rejected and how to make sure your vote counts. It’s thought asteroids like Bennu could have delivered the building blocks of life to Earth and other worlds. It’s thought that Bennu contains material from the early Solar System. Bennu is, at around 1,900 feet in diameter, an asteroid about as tall as the Empire State Building.

"By far, the most likely outcome we will have on October 20 is we will contact the surface and come away with a large sample that exceeds our requirements. Chodas speculates that asteroid 2020 SO, as it is formally known, is actually the Centaur upper-rocket stage that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 …

While the landing actually occurred 18 minutes earlier, the spacecraft and asteroid's distance of 334 million kilometers from Earth meant the team had to wait for the signal to arrive to confirm the touchdown was successful. He said there is a 30% chance OSIRIS-REx will touch down but fail to collect enough material.