OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission, is on a pioneering journey to collect a sample from asteroid Bennu and bring it back to Earth for study. Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, the spacecraft is currently navigating closer to an asteroid than any other spacecraft has ever before, and is surveying and mapping Bennu’s terrain in order to ultimately touch the surface for 5 seconds and gather a sample. To accomplish this, the mission has developed a number of ground-breaking techniques and technologies – involving spacecraft navigation, robotic sample acquisition, and high-resolution imaging and altimetry – that will be the foundation for the future of spaceflight and space exploration. In this session, Dr Lauretta will discuss what we’ve learned on the way to Bennu.
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