This Week @NASA: Historic Asteroid Sample Return, Frank Rubio’s Year of Science in Space

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

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 NASA’s First Asteroid Sample Return Mission

The return to Earth of OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s first-ever asteroid sample return mission, is nearly complete. On September 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 NASA’s Johnson Space Center for examination in a pristine curation facility. The sample will be unveiled during a live televised NASA news conference on October 11.

Frank Rubio Activates Hardware for Space Biology Experiment

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Frank Rubio activates hardware for a space biology experiment that is studying how weightlessness affects genetic expression in microbes to understand bacterial adaptation and protect astronauts. Credit: NASA

Frank Rubio’s Year of Science in Space

September 21 marked a full year in space for NASA astronaut Frank Rubio. Since arriving at the International Space Station (ISS), 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 September 27, after a U.S. record 371 days in space.

Expedition 69 Flight Engineers Pose for a Portrait

Expedition 69 Flight Engineers (from left) Jasmin Moghbeli, Loral O’Hara, and Frank Rubio, all NASA astronauts, pose for a portrait aboard the International Space Station’s Unity module. All three crew members were selected as part of the NASA astronaut class of 2017. Credit: NASA

Loral O’Hara Arrives at Space Station for Science Expedition

On September 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.

Universo curioso de la NASA

Universo curioso de la NASA Spanish-language podcast. Credit: NASA

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 September 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!

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