Late Breaking News : OSIRIS-REx Dancing with Asteroid Bennu
Friday 25 October 2019, 08:30 – 09:00
Location: The Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Grand Ballroom ABC
On June 12, 2019, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft performed another significant navigation maneuver—breaking its own world record for the closest orbit of a planetary body by a spacecraft. The maneuver placed the spacecraft in an orbit 680 meters (2,231 feet) above the surface of asteroid Bennu. The previous record—also set by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft—was approximately 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) above the surface. After months grappling with the rugged reality of asteroid Bennu’s surface, the team leading NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission has selected four potential sites for the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to “tag” its cosmic dance partner in a close reconnaissance. The top site and backup will be selected in December 2019 for rehearsals in preparation for a touch and go (TAG) maneuver to collect at least 60g of rocks to return to Earth in 2023 for decades of scientific study.