09/24/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2023 05:40
Doppler data indicates that NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft released its sample capsule toward Earth at 6:42 a.m. EDT (4:42 a.m. MDT), as planned, from 63,000 miles of Earth's surface - about one-third the distance from Earth to the Moon.
After traveling for about four hours through space, the capsule will enter the atmosphere off the coast of California at about 10:42 a.m. EDT (8:42 a.m. MDT) and head east. It will land about 13 minutes later in a predetermined 36-mile by 8.5-mile area on the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City.
Flat and relatively barren, the military range covers about 1.5 million largely uninhabited acres of the Great Salt Lake desert, with much of the air space above closed to non-training-range aircraft, making it an ideal landing location. (NASA's Stardust mission landed a sample capsuleof particles from comet Wild 2 on the Utah range in 2006.)