OSIRIS-REx Mission Design: Sample Acquisition Campaign

  • Released Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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After nine months in orbit around asteroid Bennu, OSIRIS-REx will begin the process of maneuvering closer to the surface in preparation of the sample collection event. Once the sample site has been selected, OSIRIS-REx will break from its polar orbit to practice three flyovers of the site at increasing proximities, eventually matching Bennu's speed and rotation. The narrow-angle PolyCam will image the sample site at sub-centimeter resolution during these close passes.

When OSIRIS-REx is ready, it will slowly descend to Bennu's surface at a few centimeters per second. Its outstretched arm will touch down and blow high-pressure nitrogen gas into Bennu's soil. This will force loose dust, dirt, and rocks upward into the TAGSAM head, trapping the material inside. OSIRIS-REx will then weigh and stow the captured sample for return to Earth in 2023.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:21 AM EST.


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