@osiris_rex - NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission

Official account for NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission to return a sample of the asteroid Bennu to Earth in 2023. Arrived Dec. 3, 2018. #tobennuandback
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New mission phase alert! Orbital C began just over a week ago. At an altitude of 1.1 miles (1.7 km), this new orbit is slightly higher than Orbital B. Orbital C is designed to study and monitor asteroid Bennu’s particle ejection events.
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New mission phase alert! Orbital C began just over a week ago. At an altitude of 1.1 miles (1.7 km), this new orbit is slightly higher than Orbital B. Orbital C is designed to study and monitor asteroid Bennu’s particle ejection events.

The spacecraft is about the size of a 15-passenger van, so for a familiar perspective, here’s what each candidate site on Bennu would look like in a standard parking lot… 
Order left to right: Nightingale, Kingfisher, Osprey, Sandpiper 
Nightingale, which lies within the white circle, covers roughly 6 parking spaces. Sampling regions in this site range from 16 ft (5 m) to 33 ft (10 m) in radius. 
Kingfisher, which lies within the white circle, covers roughly 6 parking spaces. The radius of the sample site is 16 ft (5 m). Osprey, which lies within the white circle, covers roughly 6 parking spaces. Sampling regions in this site range from 16 ft (5 m) to 33 ft (10 m) in radius. 
Sandpiper, which lies within the white circle, covers roughly 6 parking spaces. The radius of the sample site is 16 ft (5 m).
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The spacecraft is about the size of a 15-passenger van, so for a familiar perspective, here’s what each candidate site on Bennu would look like in a standard parking lot… Order left to right: Nightingale, Kingfisher, Osprey, Sandpiper Nightingale,

Site Nightingale: Located in Bennu’s far north, Nightingale is set in a large crater that is 459 ft (140 m) in diameter. Nightingale contains mostly fine-grained, dark material and has the lowest albedo and surface temperature of the four sites. 
Site Kingfisher: Near Bennu’s equator, Kingfisher is located in a small crater that has a diameter of 26 ft (8 m). Kingfisher has the strongest spectral signature for hydrated minerals and the highest brightness variation in regolith. 
Site Osprey: Also located in Bennu’s equatorial region, Osprey is in a crater that is 66 ft (20 m) in diameter. Osprey has the strongest spectral signature of carbon-rich material, and has high brightness and color variety. 
Site Sandpiper: Located in Bennu’s southern hemisphere, Sandpiper is in a large crater 207 ft (63 m) in diameter. Sandpiper has high brightness variation, and may contain potentially unmodified water-rich material.
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Site Nightingale: Located in Bennu’s far north, Nightingale is set in a large crater that is 459 ft (140 m) in diameter. Nightingale contains mostly fine-grained, dark material and has the lowest albedo and surface temperature of the four sites. Sit

Here’s the location of each of the 4 candidate sites on Bennu. The sites are named after birds native to Egypt 🦅 which complements the mission’s other naming conventions – Egyptian deities (the asteroid and spacecraft) and mythological birds (surface features on Bennu).
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Here’s the location of each of the 4 candidate sites on Bennu. The sites are named after birds native to Egypt 🦅 which complements the mission’s other naming conventions – Egyptian deities (the asteroid and spacecraft) and mythological birds (surface

It’s official. We’ve selected the Final Four sites on asteroid Bennu for sample collection! One of these will end up being the site for our touchdown event next year. 
Visit our Instagram story for the link to learn more about the site selection process.
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It’s official. We’ve selected the Final Four sites on asteroid Bennu for sample collection! One of these will end up being the site for our touchdown event next year. Visit our Instagram story for the link to learn more about the site selection proc

We’ve got so many features to name …

Anywhoo, what are your favorite birds (and bird-like creatures) from mythology? 🦅
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We’ve got so many features to name … Anywhoo, what are your favorite birds (and bird-like creatures) from mythology? 🦅

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Asteroid Bennu itself is named after the ancient Egyptian deity Bennu, who was usually depicted as a grey heron.
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Asteroid Bennu itself is named after the ancient Egyptian deity Bennu, who was usually depicted as a grey heron.

The IAU has approved a theme for naming surface features on Bennu! The asteroid’s boulders, craters, peaks and trenches will be named after mythological birds and bird-like creatures. Visit our Instagram story to learn more
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The IAU has approved a theme for naming surface features on Bennu! The asteroid’s boulders, craters, peaks and trenches will be named after mythological birds and bird-like creatures. Visit our Instagram story to learn more

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NASA still needs your help. 
73% of Bennu’s boulders have been mapped. Let’s get to 100%  
Visit our Instagram story to start mapping! Link is also in bio
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NASA still needs your help. 73% of Bennu’s boulders have been mapped. Let’s get to 100% Visit our Instagram story to start mapping! Link is also in bio

By request! Here’s a different perspective on that crater within a crater in Bennu’s southern hemisphere. This image was taken while in a terminator orbit, so you can see the line of dawn on the left. The shadows from this viewing angle provide a good sense of the larger crater’s depth and overall size.

The image was taken by MapCam on Feb. 24, from a distance of 0.9 miles (1.4 km). The light-colored boulder on the crater’s left edge is 20 ft (6.0 m) long… about the length of a 15-passenger van.
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By request! Here’s a different perspective on that crater within a crater in Bennu’s southern hemisphere. This image was taken while in a terminator orbit, so you can see the line of dawn on the left. The shadows from this viewing angle provide a goo

Tucson Friends! @uarizona ‘s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is hosting its annual Summer Science Saturday! All-day Exhibits and Activities will highlight the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing and recent lunar research. Check out our IG story for the link with more details.
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Tucson Friends! @uarizona ‘s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is hosting its annual Summer Science Saturday! All-day Exhibits and Activities will highlight the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing and recent lunar research. Check out our IG

We’ve spent months getting thousands of images of Bennu from every possible angle. So now it’s time to show off… which features do you want to see more of, but from a different perspective?

Comment on an image of your favorite feature letting us know you’d like to see it from another angle!
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We’ve spent months getting thousands of images of Bennu from every possible angle. So now it’s time to show off… which features do you want to see more of, but from a different perspective? Comment on an image of your favorite feature letting us kno

Look at this small world. An epic image to wrap up our tour of Bennu through Baseball Diamond phase imagery. 
This image captures some of Bennu’s most recognizable features—Bennu’s largest boulder (lower right), Bennu’s darkest boulder (upper left on horizon), and crater that may contain sampleable material. The image was taken on Apr 19, from 2.2 miles (3.6 km) away. Bennu’s darkest boulder is 41 ft (12.6 m) high, which is about the height of a telephone pole.
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Look at this small world. An epic image to wrap up our tour of Bennu through Baseball Diamond phase imagery. This image captures some of Bennu’s most recognizable features—Bennu’s largest boulder (lower right), Bennu’s darkest boulder (upper left on

You did it! 
Congratulations to the entire Hayabusa2 team from all of us at OSIRIS-REx. 
Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully executed its second sample collection touchdown on asteroid Ryugu earlier today.
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You did it! Congratulations to the entire Hayabusa2 team from all of us at OSIRIS-REx. Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully executed its second sample collection touchdown on asteroid Ryugu earlier today.

Um. Whoa. 
This crater appears pretty flat in the first image. But looking at the second image = speechless. 
These two images of Bennu’s southern hemisphere and equatorial region were taken 17 minutes apart. They were taken on April 19 from 2.3 miles (3.7 km) away. The crater’s diameter (top to bottom) is 135 ft (41 m), which is about the same size as the diameter of the Pantheon’s dome.
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Um. Whoa. This crater appears pretty flat in the first image. But looking at the second image = speechless. These two images of Bennu’s southern hemisphere and equatorial region were taken 17 minutes apart. They were taken on April 19 from 2.3 mile

Haven’t shown you this crater yet. A crater inside of a crater. And we thought rocks on top of rocks were perplexing. 🤨 
Here’s a portion of Bennu’s southern hemisphere. Visible in the image are Bennu’s prime meridian boulder (right) and a crater that may contain sampleable material (center). The image was taken by MapCam on April 19 from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.5 km). For scale, the square rock on the crater’s upper left edge is 20 ft (6.0 m) long—about the length of a 15-passenger van.
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Haven’t shown you this crater yet. A crater inside of a crater. And we thought rocks on top of rocks were perplexing. 🤨 Here’s a portion of Bennu’s southern hemisphere. Visible in the image are Bennu’s prime meridian boulder (right) and a crater tha

Showing equal love for #TeamBoulder 
Here's an overhead view of Bennu’s largest boulder, Boulder No. 1. The image was taken by the MapCam camera on April 19, from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.6 km). For scale, the largest boulder is 190 ft (58 m) wide, which is about the width of a soccer field.
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Showing equal love for #teamboulder Here's an overhead view of Bennu’s largest boulder, Boulder No. 1. The image was taken by the MapCam camera on April 19, from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.6 km). For scale, the largest boulder is 190 ft (58 m) wide,

This view though. It’s uncanny.
Craters, boulders, and rocks are familiar to us, since we have them on Earth. But these features feel unfamiliar when looking at Bennu’s landscape. 
Here’s a view Bennu’s darkest boulder (upper left near horizon) and a crater (adjacent to darkest boulder). The crater is 68 ft (20.6 m) wide—about the width of eight parking spaces. The image was taken during Flyby 7A on April 18 from a distance of 2.3 miles (3.7 km), and is oriented Bennu south up.
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This view though. It’s uncanny. Craters, boulders, and rocks are familiar to us, since we have them on Earth. But these features feel unfamiliar when looking at Bennu’s landscape. Here’s a view Bennu’s darkest boulder (upper left near horizon) and a