Bennu’s Journey

Recently, astronomers have found hundreds of planets circling far-away suns. Do they harbor life? Does humanity have neighbors who, like us, gaze at the heavens wondering if they are alone? Now, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission is set to add one more piece to this important puzzle.

How did life begin on Earth? Were the molecules essential to life — organics and water — present when Earth was formed? Or were they delivered afterwards in a furious bombardment? Where will we look to find answers?

 

To understand origin of life on Earth, NASA will visit an artifact from the ancient solar system: asteroid Bennu. Scientists tell us that asteroid Bennu has been a silent witness to titanic events in the solar system’s 4.6 billion year history. To unlock Bennu’s secrets, we are sending a spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx to visit the asteroid and retrieve a sample. When it returns in 2023 with its precious cargo, OSIRIS-REx will help to break that silence and retrace Bennu’s Journey.

Visit the NASA Goddard Conceptual Image Lab for movie posters, still frames, and other media from Bennu’s Journey — or to download the movie itself.

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