Final Four Sites Selected for OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return

The final four candidate sample collection sites shown on a map of asteroid Bennu. They are designated Nightingale, Kingfisher, Osprey and Sandpiper. Image credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

The final four candidate sample collection sites shown on a map of asteroid Bennu. They are designated Nightingale, Kingfisher, Osprey and Sandpiper. Image credit: NASA/GSFC/University of Arizona

Four potential sampling sites have been selected on the asteroid Bennu. Although the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been in orbit around Bennu since December 2018, the asteroid’s unexpectedly rocky surface has led to challenges in identifying safe sampling locations. The candidate sites must have boulder-free areas between 5–10 meters across and contain particles less than 2.5 centimeters in diameter. The four sites have been designated Kingfisher, Nightingale, Osprey, and Sandpiper, after birds native to Egypt, in keeping with the naming conventions used for Bennu. READ MORE

For more about the potential sampling sites and the OSIRIS-REx mission, please visit: asteroidmission.org

 

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