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NOVA “Touching the Asteroid” Premieres Wednesday, October 21 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on PBS

21 Oct 2020, 07:17 UTC
NOVA “Touching the Asteroid” Premieres Wednesday, October 21 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on PBS
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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

BOSTON (PBS PR) —TOUCHING THE ASTEROID, a one-hour NOVA special about the daring and unprecedented space mission to grab a piece of a near-Earth asteroid, premieres on PBS on Wednesday, October 21 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on PBS. The program will also stream on NOVA’s YouTube channel.

On October 20, 2020, a NASA spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx will attempt to reach out and retrieve samples from an asteroid named Bennu to bring them back to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx team, operating the spacecraft remotely from Colorado, has just three chances to extend its spacecraft’s specialized arm, touch down for a mere five seconds, and collect material from the surface of Bennu. If they can pull it off, scientists could gain great insight into Earth’s own origins—and even learn to defend against rogue asteroids that may one day threaten our planet.

In TOUCHING THE ASTEROID, NOVA takes viewers inside the mission as the team embarks on a daunting quest that pushes the boundaries of what robotic spacecrafts like OSIRIS-REx are capable of. The film offers a clear-eyed look into the painstaking work that goes into answering, piece ...

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