Is NASA’s OSIRIS-REx’s asteroid sample return a monumental achievement or a waste of resources?

1. Advancement in scientific knowledge: The asteroid sample return mission provides valuable insights into the composition and history of asteroids, which is crucial for understanding the origins of our solar system.
2. Potential for groundbreaking discoveries: The samples brought back from the asteroid could lead to significant discoveries and breakthroughs in various scientific fields.
3. Technological accomplishment: The successful completion of the mission demonstrates NASA’s impressive capabilities in space exploration and technology.
4. Education and inspiration: The mission captures public interest and excitement, inspiring future generations to pursue careers in science and space exploration.
5. Economic benefits: The mission stimulates the space industry and can lead to the development of new technologies and employment opportunities.

1. High cost: The OSIRIS-REx mission has required a substantial investment of resources, which some may argue could have been allocated to other pressing needs or scientific projects.
2. Limited direct benefits: The samples collected from the asteroid may not have immediate practical applications, leading to questioning the allocation of resources for the mission.
3. Risk of mission failure: Space missions always carry inherent risks, and the possibility of failure, given the complexity involved, raises concerns about the allocation of resources.
4. Environmental impact: The use of rockets and space technology for the mission may have environmental implications, such as carbon emissions, which some may view as wasteful or unsustainable.
5. Opportunity cost: The resources used for the OSIRIS-REx mission could have potentially been used for other important scientific or societal endeavors.


In a remarkable achievement, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission concluded its seven-year endeavor of gathering rocks and dust from a near-Earth asteroid. The capsule, carrying the invaluable final samples, safely descended onto the desert terrain at Utah’s Department of Defense on the morning of September 24th.