Mission sample scientist for OSIRIS-REx can address mission to asteroid

Newswise — The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which last week made a crucial move as it used the Earth’s gravity to slingshot deep into space, is on path to land on and collect samples next year on the asteroid Bennu.

Dr. Harold C. Connolly Jr., chair of the Department of Geology at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., is mission sample scientist for OSIRIS-REx and will head the team that analyzes all matter collected from Bennu when the spacecraft returns to Earth in 2023.

Dr. Connolly is available to discuss this historic mission, what he and his team expect to learn from it, and how this project advances mankind’s efforts to plumb the depths of space.

About Harold Connolly Jr.

Dr. Connolly earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in geological science from Rutgers University. He’s a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and a special visiting professor of planetary sciences at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona.

A native of southern New Jersey, he has an asteroid named for him.

“My obituary can say I’m survived by an asteroid,” he chuckles.


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