Geologist to discuss involvement in NASA mission at Edelman Planetarium

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September 23, 2016

Rowan University geologist Harold C. Connolly, Jr. will discuss his work as the Mission Sample Scientist on NASA’s first mission to collect an asteroid sample and return it to Earth during a talk at the Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Connolly’s talk, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the planetarium, located in Science Hall on the Glassboro campus.

As the mission sample scientist for OSIRIS-REx, Connolly will oversee research on the sample material collected during the mission. The founding chair of Rowan’s new Department of Geology in the School of Earth & Environment, Connolly will lead the team that examines up to 4.4 pounds of sample material from the asteroid, known as Bennu, to help scientists gain a better understanding about the early Solar System and the origins of life and the Earth’s oceans.

The $1 billion OSIRIS-REx mission, which launched on Sept. 8, will return the asteroid sample to Earth in 2023. During his talk, Connolly will give an update on the progress of the history-making mission and discuss his role in it.

For information, contact Amy Barraclough, director of the Edelman Planetarium, or 856-256-4389. Visit the event’s Facebook page at