back to article NASA's first asteroid sample on its way to Earth after OSIRIS-REx boosts for home

OSIRIS-REx, the spacecraft carrying NASA’s first-ever asteroid sample, has started its two-year journey back to Earth, the space agency confirmed on Monday. On Friday, ground control sent the commands directing the 2,110 kg (4,650 lb) vehicle to fire its main thrusters to get out of asteroid Bennu’s orbit and return to our …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Debris

    I never thought I'd be happily anticipating space debris so soon after the Long March booster descent.

    I admit OSIRIS-REX slipped my mind entirely.

    Here's hoping all goes well with the sample return capsule and that the main spacecraft has enough instruments still working after the voyage that NASA can give it a new mission.

  2. Big_Boomer

    She's coming home

    I watched her launch from the carpark of the Kennedy Space Center in Sept 2016 and have followed her ever since.

    How long before the conspiracy morons start spouting drivel about alien invasions by the Lizard People of Bennu? <LOL>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How long before the conspiracy morons start spouting drivel ...

      Well, we do work quite hard to ensure that any accurate and reliable information about our invasion is kept properly secret. So, to be perfectly fair about it, it's not really their fault they only have invented nonsense to spout.

      Yours Sincerely,

      A. Lizard.

  3. Daedalus

    Slingshot?

    It will zoom 2.3 billion kilometres (1.3 billion miles) around the Sun twice to perform a gravity assist maneuver that will slingshot it toward our planet.

    Slingshot around what? The nearest planet is Earth, or rather its orbit, and according to the trajectory the only approach to Earth is when it releases the sample to re-enter the atmosphere.

    See https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Animation_of_OSIRIS-REx_trajectory.gif

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boffin Arghhhh

    Boffin = Stupid tabloid-speak and I hate it.

    Boffins backlash

    1. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      Re: Boffin Arghhhh

      Firstly: have you seen the colour of El Reg's banner? Tabloid red!

      And (b) it is a proud tradition to honour boffins and boffinry here.

    2. John H Woods

      Re: Boffin Arghhhh

      Context is key.

      Certainly boffin can be used in the pejorative sense, and certainly it is in some tabloid media. Here on El Reg such usage is markedly less frequent than, for instance, praise for systemd which is rare enough (although I have actually seen the latter de temps en temps).

      Therefore, in these hallowed pages, it is a term of endearment, if not outright admiration.

      See also the C-Word in some parts of the UK and the Antipodes.

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