OSIRIS-REx To Attempt TAG of Asteroid Bennu

Bill Jelen

October 20, 2020

Filtered by Tag: tobennuandback

Asteroid Bennu will have its "close encounter" with OSIRIS-REx on October 20, 2020, as the spacecraft makes contact and collects samples for study back on earth.

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A scale model of OSIRIS-REx, and a full size engineering mockup of the sample collection tool.

What's Next as OSIRIS-REx Approaches Asteroid Bennu

After travelling for over 23 months, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has begun an approach phase to rendezvous with asteroid Bennu. Here are key milestones between now and the December 31, 2018 orbital insertion around Bennu:

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Shots from the OSIRIS-REx launch, launched by United Launch Alliance at 7:05pm (ET) on September 8, 2016 from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station / Kennedy Space Center.

Successful Milestone: OSIRIS-REx Takes Its First Photo of Asteroid Bennu

Launched on September 8, 2016, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft began its approach phase to asteroid Bennu on August 17, 2018. The photograph shows Bennu as a point of light and was taken from 1,358,459 miles away.

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Geoffrey Yoder and Dante Lauretta discussing the OSIRIS-REx mission

OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta Explains Mission Profile

At a pair of media events leading up to the September 8, 2016 launch of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, we had a chance to discuss the mission profile with Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta. Lauretta is a Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. He is the P.I. for OSIRIS-REx and the guy who coined the acronym: Origins, Spectral Integration, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith EXplorer. True, the goal of the spacecraft is to send a 2 ounce to 4 pound sample of asteroid Bennu back to Earth on September 24, 2023. But a lot has to happen between now and that point.

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