THIS WEEK @NASA: Tracking First Asteroid Sample Return Mission, Astronaut Loral O’Hara Arrives at ISS for Science Expedition

By  //  September 24, 2023

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ABOVE VIDEO: Tracking a mission’s historic return to Earth, a year of science onboard the space station, and the safe arrival of the station’s newest resident astronaut … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Tracking Our First Asteroid Sample Return Mission

The return to Earth of OSIRIS-REx, our first ever asteroid sample return mission, is nearly complete.

On Sept. 24, as the O-REx spacecraft approaches Earth, it will release a capsule containing about 8.8 ounces of sample material collected from asteroid Bennu. Following a parachute-assisted landing in the Utah desert, the capsule will be retrieved and eventually shipped to our Johnson Space Center for examination in a pristine curation facility. The sample will be unveiled during a live televised NASA news conference on Oct. 11.

Frank Rubio’s Year of Science in Space

Sept. 21 marked a full year in space for NASA astronaut Frank Rubio. Since arriving at the International Space Station, he has worked on dozens of experiments.

These include an experiment that grows tomatoes using water-based and air-based techniques rather than soil, an investigation that could enable in-space 3D printing of functional human organs for transplants, and more. Rubio is scheduled to return to Earth on Sept. 27, after a U.S. record 371 days in space.

Loral O’Hara Arrives at Space Station for Science Expedition

On Sept. 15, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and two cosmonauts safely arrived at the space station – increasing the number of residents aboard the station to 10. This six-month stay on the orbital outpost is O’Hara’s first spaceflight.

NASA Releases First Season of Spanish-language Podcast

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are releasing new content for Universo curioso de la NASA, the agency’s first Spanish-language podcast. A five-episode season kicked off on Sept. 19 – with new episodes scheduled to be released weekly. For more about Universo curioso de la NASA and other NASA podcasts visit

That’s what’s up this week @NASA