The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft mission characterized and collected a sample from asteroid (101955) Bennu. After the OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Capsule is released to Earth’s surface in 2023, the spacecraft will divert into a new orbit that encounters asteroid (99942) Apophis in 2029, enabling a second mission with the same unique capabilities: OSIRIS–Apophis Explorer (APEX). On April 13, 2029, the 340-m-diameter Apophis flies within ~32,000 km of Earth’s surface, less than 1/10th the lunar distance. Apophis will be the largest object to approach Earth this closely in recorded history. APEX will distantly observe Apophis during its Earth encounter and capture its evolution in real-time, revealing the consequences of an asteroid undergoing tidal disturbance by a major planet. The spacecraft’s instrument suite will subsequently provide high-resolution data of a “stony” asteroid—advancing knowledge of these objects and their connection to meteorites.

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Event Date
January 9, 2024 / 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


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