90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Arrives At Asteroid 80 Million Miles Away

An up-close view of the asteroid Bennu taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Photo: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

A NASA spacecraft arrived Monday at an asteroid after a more than two-year journey. The plan is to take a sample of “dirt” from the surface and send it back to Earth.

“We have arrived.” Mission controllers celebrated after receiving confirmation that the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft had arrived at the diamond-shaped asteroid named Bennu, which is about the size of the Empire State Building.

The spacecraft will spend the next year surveying the asteroid before using a robotic arm to suck up a sample of regolith, or dirt, from the surface.

The asteroid is an astronomical time capsule. Scientists are eager to examine the nearly 4 billion-year-old sample, which could hold evidence of the creation of our solar system.

The two-ounce sample will return to Earth in 2023 and will be the largest cosmic sample collected since the Apollo missions.

The $800 million spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral in 2016. Bennu is about 80 million miles away from Earth.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »