ISS Crew Return, OSIRIS-REx Update & Rocket Lab Launch on Tap for Today

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

UPDATE: Rocket Lab has scrubbed its launch for today because of some readings from sensors that didn’t look right. The company has backup opportunities until Nov. 3.

Several major space events are occurring today.

Expedition 63 crew members Chris Cassidy, Anatoly Ivanishin & Ivan Vagner will return from the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft.

NASA will provide an update on its OSIRIS-REx mission, which appears to have collected a sample from asteroid Bennu on Tuesday.

And Rocket Lab will conduct a launch of the Electron rocket from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

ISS Crew Return & OSIRIS-REx Update
All times Eastern Daylight Time

ISS Crew Return

3:30 p.m. – ISS Expedition 63 Farewells and Soyuz MS-16 Hatch Closure Coverage
4:10 p.m. (approximately) — Hatch closure


5 p.m. – OSIRIS-REx post-sampling news conference – and release of new images – with the following participants:

  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Sandra Freund, OSIRIS-REx mission operations manager, Lockheed Martin Space, Littleton, Colorado

6:15 to 6:45 p.m. – NASA Science Live on OSIRIS_REx with team members answering live questions from the public about TAG, OSIRIS-REx, and asteroid science. Use #ToBennuAndBack on social media to participate.

ISS Crew Return Continues

7 p.m. – ISS Expedition 63/Soyuz MS-16 Undocking Coverage begins
7:32 p.m. — Undocking scheduled
9:30 p.m. – ISS Expedition 63/Soyuz MS-16 Deorbit Burn and Landing Coverage begins
10 p.m. — Deorbit burn scheduled
10:55 p.m. — Landing near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan scheduled

Rocket Lab Electron Launch

Rocket Lab’s 15th Electron launch will carry nine SuperDove Earth-imaging satellites for Planet and the CE-SAT-IIB technology demonstration satellite for Canon Electronics.

Scheduled Launch Time

EDT: 5:14 p.m., Oct 21
PDT: 2:14 p.m., Oct 21
UTC: 9:14 p.m., Oct 21
NZT: 10:14 a.m., Oct 22

Rocket Lab will webcast the launch starting 20 minutes before the scheduled liftoff. Follow the company on Twitter for updates.