OSIRIS-REx: X Marks the Spot - 2019 AGU Press Conference

  • Released Thursday, December 12th, 2019
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:45PM
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Close-up images of the OSIRIS-REx sample site candidates on asteroid Bennu.Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Close-up images of the OSIRIS-REx sample site candidates on asteroid Bennu.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission announced its primary and backup sample collection sites on asteroid Bennu, at a press conference hosted during AGU’s Fall Meeting at 2 p.m. ET, Thursday, Dec. 12.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft launched on Sept. 8, 2016, and arrived at asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3, 2018. In mid-2020, it will briefly touch down on Bennu’s surface and collect a sample for return to Earth in late 2023.

The mission represents a valuable opportunity to learn more about the origins of our solar system, the sources of water and organic molecules on Earth, and the hazards and resources in near-Earth space.

The briefing participants are:

Lori Glaze, director of planetary science for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona, Tucson
Dani DellaGiustina, OSIRIS-REx image processing lead scientist at the University of Arizona, Tucson
Mike Moreau, OSIRIS-REx deputy project manager at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

For more information, go to nasa.gov/osirisrex or asteroidmission.org

1. Glaze - Common Themes for Small Bodies ResearchCredit: NASA-HQ
  1. Glaze - Common Themes for Small Bodies Research

    Credit: NASA-HQ

2. Glaze - Bennu global mosaic and sample site candidatesCredit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Glaze - Bennu global mosaic and sample site candidates

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

1. Lauretta - Bennu global mosaic and sample site candidates (ibid)Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Lauretta - Bennu global mosaic and sample site candidates (ibid)

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

3. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx primary sample site, NightingaleCredit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx primary sample site, Nightingale

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

4. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx primary sample site, Nightingale. The center of the site is marked with an X, and a silhouette of the spacecraft is added for scale.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx primary sample site, Nightingale. The center of the site is marked with an X, and a silhouette of the spacecraft is added for scale.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

  1. Lauretta - 3D flyover animation of the OSIRIS-REx primary sample site, Nightingale

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/MDA

6. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx backup sample site, OspreyCredit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx backup sample site, Osprey

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

7. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx backup sample site, Osprey. The center of the site is marked with an X, and a silhouette of the spacecraft is added for scale.Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Lauretta - The OSIRIS-REx backup sample site, Osprey. The center of the site is marked with an X, and a silhouette of the spacecraft is added for scale.

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

  1. Lauretta - 3D flyover animation of the OSIRIS-REx backup sample site, Osprey

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/MDA

1. DellaGiustina - Bennu global image mosaicCredit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. DellaGiustina - Bennu global image mosaic

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

2. DellaGiustina - Bennu global image mosaic, with primary and backup sample sites labeledCredit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. DellaGiustina - Bennu global image mosaic, with primary and backup sample sites labeled

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

3. DellaGiustina - The OSIRIS-REx primary and backup sample sitesCredit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. DellaGiustina - The OSIRIS-REx primary and backup sample sites

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

4. DellaGiustina - The "sampleability" map for Sites Nightingale and Osprey, showing the location of sampleable material at each site. Blue regions correspond to high sampleability, while red regions correspond to low sampleability.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. DellaGiustina - The "sampleability" map for Sites Nightingale and Osprey, showing the location of sampleable material at each site. Blue regions correspond to high sampleability, while red regions correspond to low sampleability.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

  1. Moreau - Animation of OSIRIS-REx collecting a sample of Bennu

    Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

2. Moreau - Size comparison of the planned sample collection safe zone before arriving at Bennu (orange), and after arriving at Bennu (blue). The safe zone for Site Nightingale is no wider than a few parking spaces. Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Moreau - Size comparison of the planned sample collection safe zone before arriving at Bennu (orange), and after arriving at Bennu (blue). The safe zone for Site Nightingale is no wider than a few parking spaces.

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

3. Moreau - This image shows sample site Nightingale overlaid with a simplified hazard map. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft uses this map to autonomously detect surface hazards, such as boulders or rocks, while it descends to collect a sample. The green illustrates areas that are free of hazards, and means the spacecraft will continue to the surface. Yellow demonstrates cautionary areas, and red areas contain the most hazards. If the spacecraft predicts it will touch either a yellow or red area, it will stop its descent and back away.Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Moreau - This image shows sample site Nightingale overlaid with a simplified hazard map. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft uses this map to autonomously detect surface hazards, such as boulders or rocks, while it descends to collect a sample. The green illustrates areas that are free of hazards, and means the spacecraft will continue to the surface. Yellow demonstrates cautionary areas, and red areas contain the most hazards. If the spacecraft predicts it will touch either a yellow or red area, it will stop its descent and back away.

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

4. Moreau - OSIRIS-REx Sample Acquisition Campaign scheduleCredit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
  1. Moreau - OSIRIS-REx Sample Acquisition Campaign schedule

    Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Data visualization of asteroid Bennu and the OSIRIS-REx sample site candidates.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/MDA

For More Information

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Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Missions

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