Planets and Moons  ID: 14179

Asteroid Bennu’s Surprising Surface Revealed by OSIRIS-REx

On October 20, 2020, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected a sample of near-Earth asteroid Bennu. This “TAG event” revealed surprising details about Bennu’s loosely-packed surface. The spacecraft’s arm sank almost half a meter into the asteroid, far deeper than expected, confirming that Bennu’s surface is incredibly weak. During the event, OSIRIS-REx collected a handful of material and kicked up roughly six tons of loose rock. It will return its sample of Bennu to Earth in September 2023.

Learn more about the surface properties of asteroid Bennu.


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