Science at Sunset: OSIRIS-REx


6 to 10 p.m., Sept. 23, 2023

Science at Sunset: OSIRIS-REx

Science at Sunset OSIRIS REx

Saturday, September 23
1601 E University Blvd.
6PM to 10PM

Join us for our next Science at Sunset series and learn more about the University of Arizona's role in NASA’s OSIRIS-REx—the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid—while celebrating the upcoming return of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. As it passes Earth on the morning of September 24, the spacecraft will drop off some very precious cargo: material it collected from the surface of the asteroid Bennu.

This evening event features a special multimedia OSIRIS-REx presentation in the planetarium, a live star talk show, evening science exhibits, and fun activities for people of all ages.

Learn more in the Schedule of Events section below.


  • All planetarium presentations and shows are sold out.
  • Admission to science exhibits and activities will still be available for the special reduced rate of $5 per person.
  • If parking at Flandrau is full, the nearby Cherry Garage is a great option and is free on weekends. 


OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. When it arrives, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will release the sample capsule for a safe landing in the Utah desert. The pristine material from Bennu – rocks and dust collected from the asteroid’s surface in 2020 – will offer generations of scientists a window into the time when the Sun and planets were forming about 4.5 billion years ago.

Watch the NASA's livestream on Sunday morning at 7AM Tucson time.

Science at Sunset tickets

(SOLD OUT) All-inclusive advance ticket - $15

$10 for Flandrau members

  • Admission for science center exhibits and activities
  • Planetarium Presentation - "OSIRIS-REx: Past, Present, & Future"
  • NEW Planetarium show - "Incoming!"
  • Live planetarium astronomy star talk - "Tucson Sky"

A la carte tickets for exhibits or shows may be available, in person, at the front entrance during the event if tickets are still available. Seating is first come, first serve and some shows may sell out. An all-inclusive ticket guarantees you a seat to the presentation and all shows.

Schedule of Events

staff in front of OSIRIS-REx exhibit
6 to 10PM - Science Exhibits Open

Explore the marvels of the universe from the edge of our solar system to the bottom of Earth's oceans with Flandrau's science exhibits.

  • Still available in-person only for just $5!
  • Learn about our exhibits.
  • Included with advance purchase of all-inclusive ticket

6:30PM - OSIRIS-REx: Past, Present & Future

Multimedia planetarium presentation 

Take a closer look at how we got to this historic moment and the amazing folks, right here at the University of Arizona, who played a role in the mission. We'll use the planetarium software to show the small, near-Earth asteroid Bennu and explain why it was chosen. You'll also see the solar system route that the spacecraft took to reach Bennu. Along the way, enjoy video interviews* with University of Arizona researchers that highlight the nerve wracking, astonishing, and exciting moments from the mission and what will happen now that the sample is returning.

  • $5 per person during the event
  • Included with advance purchase of all-inclusive ticket
Telescopes on the UA Mall

7:30 to 10PM - Telescope Viewing

(Weather permitting)

Take a break outside to peek through telescopes at points of interest in the night sky. Telescopes will be available for viewing on the lawn in front of Flandrau from 7:30 to 10PM.

  • Free for everyone
  • Subject to weather
Incoming Poster

8:15PM - Incoming!

New fulldome planetarium show. First showing at Flandrau!

Narrated by George Takei, Incoming! explores asteroids, comets, and meteors. Viewers will embark on a dynamic journey on the trail of asteroids and comets, get an up close look at the advanced technologies that allow scientists to detect asteroids before they reach Earth, and visualize historic space events billions of years in the making—all in an immersive full-dome experience that brings the captivating story of our cosmic origins to life.

  • $5 per person during the event (subject to availability)
  • Included with advance purchase of all-inclusive ticket
Tucson Sky & Beyond graphic

9:30PM - Tucson Sky

Live planetarium star talk

Take a relaxing look at the night sky as we give you a guided tour of the stars, planets, constellations, and current astronomical events above Tucson. This live star talk is constantly changing!

  • $5 per person during the event (subject to availability)
  • Included with advance purchase of all-inclusive ticket

*Featuring video interviews with members of the science team including Dani DellaGiustina, the deputy PI for OSIRIS-REx and PI for OSIRIS-APEX, Bashar Rizk, the OCAMS Instrument scientist, and more.