R Lang & Associates

          HOME                      ABOUT                      SPACE & AVIATION                     MEDICAL SCIENCE

Space Probe OSIRIS-REx Collects Samples from Asteroid Bennu


October 26, 2020

After 4 years, NASA space probe OSIRIS-REx successfully reached-out and grabbed a sample of the asteroid Bennu for scientific analysis which expects to return to Earth on September 2023.  

OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) was launched from an Atlas V rocket (United Launch Alliance) on September 8, 2016 enroute to the asteroid “Bennu”, named from the

ancient Egyptian mythological bird associated with the Sun, creation, and rebirth.

The asteroid will have a cumulative 1-in-2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2199.

Currently, OSIRIS-REx remains in a safe-home orbit around Bennu, flying approximately 900 meters above the asteroid's surface.  The asteroid-probe duo are currently 208 million miles from Earth.  The probe must wait until March to leave Bennu and make a two-and-a-half year journey to drop off the capsule which will parachute down to a landing in Utah.

OSIRIS-REx Extends its Arm to Collect a Sample from Asteroid Bennu {NASA}

Bennu was chosen as a subject of study because it is considered a "time capsule" since the birth of the Solar System.  Bennu is classified a B-type asteroid, a sub-type of the carbonaceous C-type asteroids, and has a very dark surface.  This type of asteroid is considered "primitive" undergoing little geological change from the time of formation.

OSIRIS-REX is the third mission to attempt to bring back pieces of an asteroid.