OSIRIS-REx - Asteroid Bennu Sample Site Finalists

  • Released Monday, August 12th, 2019
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:13AM
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OSIRIS-REx is a mission to study and map near-Earth asteroid Bennu. Its primary science objective is to collect a sample of Bennu in mid 2020 and return it to Earth in late 2023. In preparation, mission planners have identified four candidate sample sites on Bennu's rocky surface where OSIRIS-REx could briefly touch down to collect its sample. The mission will down-select to the final two sites – a primary and a backup – in December 2019. Like the mythological Bennu bird for which the asteroid is named, all of the candidate sample sites refer to birds that can be found in Egypt.

Learn more about the candidate sample sites on Bennu.

An animated GIF of the asteroid Bennu with labels of the four candidate sites.

An animated GIF of the asteroid Bennu with labels of the four candidate sites.

Print resolution (16k) still image of the candidate sample sites with labels.

Print resolution (16k) still image of the candidate sample sites with labels.

Print resolution (16k) still image of the candidate sample sites without labels.

Print resolution (16k) still image of the candidate sample sites without labels.

Pictured are the four candidate sample collection sites on asteroid Bennu selected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. Site Nightingale (top left) is located in Bennu’s northern hemisphere. Sites Kingfisher (top right) and Osprey (bottom left) are located in Bennu’s equatorial region. Site Sandpiper (bottom right) is located in Bennu’s southern hemisphere. In December 2019, one of these sites will be chosen for the mission’s touchdown event.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Pictured are the four candidate sample collection sites on asteroid Bennu selected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. Site Nightingale (top left) is located in Bennu’s northern hemisphere. Sites Kingfisher (top right) and Osprey (bottom left) are located in Bennu’s equatorial region. Site Sandpiper (bottom right) is located in Bennu’s southern hemisphere. In December 2019, one of these sites will be chosen for the mission’s touchdown event.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Candidate Bennu sample site - OspreyInstrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Candidate Bennu sample site - Osprey

Instrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Candidate Bennu sample site - KingfisherInstrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Candidate Bennu sample site - Kingfisher

Instrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Candidate Bennu sample site - NightingaleInstrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Candidate Bennu sample site - Nightingale

Instrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Candidate Bennu sample site - SandpiperInstrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Candidate Bennu sample site - Sandpiper

Instrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Global map of asteroid Bennu, showing the locations of the final four candidate sample sites.Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Global map of asteroid Bennu, showing the locations of the final four candidate sample sites.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

For More Information

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Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Data provided by NASA/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/MDA.


Missions

This visualization is related to the following missions: