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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid, will return to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023, with material from asteroid Bennu. When it arrives, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will release the sample capsule for a safe landing in the Utah desert. (It’s a Sunday and will be under intense national security but we can put our math/science vibes out there for a successful mission!) Let’s leverage this opportunity for students to engage in STEM collaborations.

Have you ever wondered the mathematical thinking that NASA engineers and scientists use to ensure a safe landing of Osiris-REx? Check out this video that relates the optimal Osiris-REx landing ellipse to making a basketball shot from half court or farther.

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