Launched in 2016, NASA's mission came close to Bennu two years later and since that time it has been preparing to land on the surface of the asteroid, which, at the end of the XXII century, could collide with Earth.
More than solutions for such (yet very small) probability, the American space agency seeks answers to the origin of the universe and humanity, since asteroids are considered the oldest testimonies of the beginning of the system formation process. solar.
In particular, the objective is to collect a sample of Bennu's surface and send it back to Earth, to analyze its physical and chemical properties. This is expected to happen on September 24, 2023.
In the middle of its mission time, the OSIRIS-Rex space probe is now in the "sample acquisition campaign" phase, but it was a period of recognition that photographed every corner of Bennu. More than 2,000 of these high-resolution photos have given rise to a unique map that NASA released in recent days.
The images that make up this detailed table were recorded between March 7 and April 19, 2019, when the spacecraft was between 3.1 to 5 km above the surface of the asteroid.