OSIRIS-Rex Mission

OSIRIS-Rex Mission

News: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing for the final phase of the OSIRIS-REx mission as the spacecraft is set to drop a capsule containing samples from the asteroid Bennu on Earth.

About:
• NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) is a mission that aims to
study and return samples from 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous near-Earth asteroid.
• OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. spacecraft to collect a sample from an asteroid. It successfully collected a sample from Bennu on October
20, 2020
• Extended Mission - An extended mission will take the spacecraft into orbit around near-Earth asteroid Apophis in 2029.
• Scientific Instruments - The spacecraft is equipped with several scientific instruments including a Camera Suite (PolyCam, MapCam, SamCam), Laser Altimeter (OLA), Visible and IR Spectrometer (OVIRS), Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES), Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS), and Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM).

About Asteroid Bennu:
• Discovery - The asteroid was discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey on September 11, 1999.
• Size and Shape - Bennu is a little more than 1,600 feet wide, or about as long as the Empire State Building is tall. The carbon-rich space rock is the shape of a droplet and made of boulders barely held together by their own microgravity.
• Composition - Scientists think that within 10 million years of our solar system’s formation, Bennu’s present-day composition was already established. Bennu likely broke off from a much larger carbon-rich asteroid about 700 million to 2 billion years ago.
• Potential Hazard - Scientists estimate Bennu has a 1‐in‐2,700 chance of impacting the Earth during one of its close approaches to the Earth in the late 22nd century.
• NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission - NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully descended to the surface of asteroid Bennu and collected rocky material from sample site Nightingale during its Touch-and-Go (TAG) sample collection maneuver.

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