OSIRIS-REx, asteroid hunter

Updated 5:48 PM ET, Wed October 21, 2020
01 osiris rex tag01 osiris rex tag
1 of 13
On October 21, NASA released images captured by cameras on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft showing its successful and historic touchdown on the asteroid Bennu. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
This image shows the moment the spacecraft briefly used its robotic arm to touch the surface of Bennu, crushing porous rocks in the process. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
The spacecraft fired a pressurized nitrogen bottle, using the gas to lift the disturbed material and pebbles so it could collect them as a sample. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
NASA's OSIRIS-REx touched down on asteroid Bennu on October 20. This illustration shows the spacecraft approaching the asteroid. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
This mosaic image of Bennu is composed of 12 images collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 kilometers). NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
This drawing shows an artist's concept of what it will look like when the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft briefly touches asteroid Bennu with its robot arm to grab a sample of the asteroid. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
This image shows asteroid Bennu ejecting rock particles from its surface on Jan. 19, 2019. It was created by combining two images taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
This view of sample site Nightingale on asteroid Bennu is a mosaic of images collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
OSIRIS-REx pulled within 12 miles of the diamond-shaped space rock when it arrived at the asteroid on December 3, 2018. AP
An artist's concept of what the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft looks like as it orbits asteroid Bennu. NASA
Pictured are the four candidate sample collection sites on asteroid Bennu selected by NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission. Site Nightingale (top left) is located in Bennu's northern hemisphere. Sites Kingfisher (top right) and Osprey (bottom left) are located in Bennu's equatorial region. Site Sandpiper (bottom right) is located in Bennu's southern hemisphere. Nightingale was ultimately chosen, and the others serve as backup sites. NASA/University of Arizona
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver. It is 20.25 feet in length (6.2 meters) with its solar arrays deployed. Its width is 8 feet (2.43 meters) x 8 feet (2.43 meters). Its height is 10.33 feet (3.15 meters). It's powered by two solar panels that generate between 1,226 watts and 3,000 watts of energy. It has five instruments to explore asteroid Bennu and also has a robot arm to touch the asteroid long enough to collect a sample. NASA/University of Arizona
These radar images of asteroid Bennu were obtained by NASA's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, California, on September 23, 1999. This is when they first discovered the asteroid. NASA/JPL-Caltech