NASA Invites Public To Help Asteroid Mission Choose Sample Site

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu needs extra pairs of eyes to help choose its sample collection site on the asteroid – and to look for anything else that might be scientifically interesting. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been at Bennu since December 3, 2018, mapping the asteroid in detail, while the mission team searches …Read More

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OSIRIS-REx Captures Laser 3D View Of Bennu

This colorful new glimpse of asteroid Bennu is the first 3D lidar map created since the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s arrival at the asteroid in December 2018. The three-dimensional shape model is based on data gathered by the Canadian Space Agency’s OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) instrument. To create the image, over 11 million laser pulses were fired …Read More

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SwRI-Led Team Discovers Surprisingly Old Surface On Near-Earth Asteroid

A Southwest Research Institute-led team has discovered that the surface geology on asteroid Bennu is older than expected. Early observations of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission indicate a surface that is between 100 million and 1 billion years old. “We expected small, kilometer-sized NEAs to have young, frequently refreshed surfaces,” said SwRI’s …Read More

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Hayabusa2 Probes Asteroid For Secrets

The first data received from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft in orbit of asteroid Ryugu helps space scientists explore conditions in the early solar system. The space probe gathered vast amounts of images and other data which gives researchers clues about Ryugu’s history, such as how it may have formed from a larger parent body. These details …Read More

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SwRI-Led Team Identifies Water-Bearing Minerals On Asteroid Bennu

A Southwest Research Institute-led team discovered evidence of abundant water-bearing minerals on the surface of the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Using early spectral data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft orbiting the asteroid, the team identified infrared properties similar to those in a type of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites. “Scientists are interested in the composition of Bennu …Read More

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A Region Of Bennu’s Northern Hemisphere Close Up

This trio of images acquired by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft shows a wide shot and two close-ups of a region in asteroid Bennu’s northern hemisphere. The wide-angle image (left), obtained by the spacecraft’s MapCam camera, shows a 590-foot (180-meter) wide area with many rocks, including some large boulders, and a “pond” of regolith that is mostly …Read More

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NASA To Host Media Teleconference On Asteroid Sample Return Mission

NASA is hosting a media teleconference at 1:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 19, to announce new science from the agency’s first mission to return to Earth an asteroid sample that may contain unaltered material from the very beginning of our solar system. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft launched Sept. 8, …Read More

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Asteroid Bennu, Target Of NASA’s Sample Return Mission, Is Rotating Faster Over Time

In late 2018, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft arrived at Bennu, the asteroid it will be studying and sampling over the next several years. Now, new research in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters shows Bennu is spinning faster over time – an observation that will help scientists understand the …Read More

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NASA OSIRIS-REx Flexes Its “Arm” Before Arriving At Asteroid Bennu

TAGSAM, or Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, completed a successful practice deployment in space on Nov. 14—an important milestone in the OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu. TAGSAM is the first-of-its-kind robotic arm and sampling head invented by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin engineers on the Mission Support Area (MSA) team moved TAGSAM’s arm through the full …Read More

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First Images Of Asteroid Bennu Obtained By The NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft

After two years traveling through space, the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has started to obtain images of the mission target, primitive asteroid Bennu. As part of the Scientific Team of this mission, researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Javier Licandro and Julia de León have already started to work in the calibration of …Read More

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