Technology

Before-and-after of asteroid Bennu's sample site


During its final flyby this month, the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx took an image of the location where it collected a sample from asteroid Bennu’s surface.


Bennu is rough and rocky, so if you look at it from a different angle or capture it at a time when the sun is not directly overhead, that dramatically changes what the surface looks like.


The capsule will deploy a parachute in Earth’s atmosphere and land at the Utah Test and Training Range on September 24, 2023, if everything goes according to plan.


It’s showing you a boulder that was blown 40 feet (12 meters) from its original spot on the asteroid’s surface, as OSIRIS-REx performed a touch-down maneuver that let it collect its sample on October 20, 2020.


Bottom line: During its final flyby on April 7, 2021, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft took an image of the location where it collected a sample from asteroid Bennu’s surface, more than a year ago.


It’ll return to Earth two years from now to deliver its asteroid sample, so that scientists can learn more about the creation of our solar system.






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