OSIRIS-REx mission to Bennu

On 31 December 2018, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft began to orbit the asteroid (101955) Bennu, a near-Earth asteroid believed to harbour organic molecules and hydrated minerals. Such an asteroid may have once introduced carbon-rich material to Earth. To study the asteroid’s pristine surface, the OSIRIS-REx team will collect a sample for laboratory analysis back on Earth. But before that happens, two years of detailed observations will enable the team to study Bennu up close and select a safe landing site. Our online Collection showcases the first results from OSIRIS-REx on its approach to (and preliminary survey of) Bennu in the latter half of 2018.