How NASA snagged a sample from an asteroid 220 million miles away

Tim Fernholz
·3-min read
How NASA snagged a sample from an asteroid 220 million miles away
How NASA snagged a sample from an asteroid 220 million miles away

“One of the more fun ways of engineering is thinking about all the things that can go wrong,” Olivia Billett says. Billett is a Lockheed Martin engineer who led a team that designed and operated the scientific mission of the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx. This week, the vehicle appeared to snatch a geological sample from an asteroid 220 million miles away that it will return to earth, a stunning technical achievement.