two years travelling through space, the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has started
to obtain images of the mission target, primitive asteroid Bennu.
The launch of the NASA OSIRIS-REx
mission took place on September 8, 2016. Since then, the spacecraft has been
two years travelling through space to reach its target, primitive asteroid
Bennu, in October, 2018.
OSIRIS-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource
Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer.
OSIRIS-REx is the third
mission in NASA’s New Frontiers program, which previously sent the New Horizons
spacecraft zooming by Pluto and the Juno spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter.
OSIRIS-REx will spend two
years travelling towards Bennu, arriving at the asteroid in August 2018. The
probe will orbit the asteroid for 3 years, conducting several scientific
experiments, before returning to Earth, with the sample capsule expected to
land in Utah, USA in September 2023.