Why Did NASA Choose Asteroid Bennu?

  • Released Thursday, February 15, 2024

OSIRIS-REx was the first U.S. mission to retrieve a sample from an asteroid and deliver it to Earth. So, of the more than one million known asteroids in our solar system, why did NASA choose the near-Earth asteroid Bennu for its target? Three factors made Bennu ideal: proximity to Earth, the right size and spin rate, and a carbon-rich composition. Now, scientists studying the Bennu samples are learning more about the history of our solar system and the origins of life – thanks to this one-in-a-million asteroid.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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This page was originally published on Thursday, February 15, 2024.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 2:33 PM EST.


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