Asteroid Bennu Here We Come

After a journey of 1.8 million km / 1.1 billion miles the A very exciting mission OSIRIS-REx has its target in sight – Asteroid Bennu. After a two-year journey the spacecraft is finally in the “approach phase” of the mission

OSIRIS-REx will arrive at Bennu on 03 December. There is a lot to do and learn before then.

“During the mission’s approach phase, OSIRIS-REx will:

regularly observe the area around the asteroid to search for dust plumes and natural satellites, and study Bennu’s light and spectral properties;

execute a series of four asteroid approach maneuvers, beginning on Oct. 1, slowing the spacecraft to match Bennu’s orbit around the Sun;

jettison the protective cover of the spacecraft’s sampling arm in mid-October and subsequently extend and image the arm for the first time in flight; and

use OCAMS to reveal the asteroid’s overall shape in late-October and begin detecting Bennu’s surface features in mid-November.” — NASA

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