Osiris-REx Launch Party! Off to Bennu


We’ve partnered with the University of Arizona and Time in Cosmology Center to bring the space party downtown for the launch of OSIRIS-REx.

Join us on the Hotel Congress plaza on Thursday, September 8 for an evening of space fun for the whole family:

  • Watch the launch live inside the hotel 4:07 p.m. sharp
  • View a Joe Pagac art display of the mission all day
  • Learn and be wowed inside the Physics Factory  4 – 8 p.m.
  • Meet extraterrestrials from planet UA 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Enjoy a live DJ on the plaza 6 – 9 p.m.
  • Stargaze on the plaza with the U of A astronomy club 9 – 10 p.m.

More about the mission from the official website:


OSIRIS-REx seeks answers to the questions that are central to the human experience: Where did we come from? What is our destiny? Asteroids, the leftover debris from the solar system formation process, can answer these questions and teach us about the history of the sun and planets.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is traveling to Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid whose regolith may record the earliest history of our solar system. Bennu may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life and the Earth’s oceans. Bennu is also one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids, as it has a relatively high probability of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century. OSIRIS-REx will determine Bennu’s physical and chemical properties, which will be critical to know in the event of an impact mitigation mission. Finally, asteroids like Bennu contain natural resources such as water, organics, and precious metals. In the future, these asteroids may one day fuel the exploration of the solar system by robotic and manned spacecraft.

OSIRIS-REx’s key science objectives include:

Return and analyze a sample of Bennu’s surface
Map the asteroid
Document the sample site
Measure the orbit deviation caused by non-gravitational forces (the Yarkovsky effect)
Compare observations at the asteroid to ground-based observations”