NASA Selects Landing Site(s) for Sample Collection on Asteroid Bennu

Image credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx space probe reached the asteroid Bennu, an approximately 492-meter-diameter space rock, just over a year ago. On December 12, the agency announced the selection of primary and backup sampling sites on the asteroid. The primary sampling site, named “Nightingale”, is located in a 140-meter crater on the northern hemisphere of Bennu, and the backup site named “Osprey” is closer to Bennu’s equator. Beginning in January and continuing through the spring, the mission team will perform further reconnaissance flights over Nightingale and Osprey. Once these flyovers are complete, the spacecraft will begin rehearsals for its “touch-and-go” sample collection event, which is scheduled for August 2020. READ MORE