Northern Candidate Sample Site on Asteroid Bennu

This image shows one of the candidate sites for sample collection on asteroid Bennu. The 71 ft (21.6 m) wide crater on Bennu’s northern hemisphere appears to contain fine-grained material and is relatively free of hazards to the spacecraft. Although it is significantly smaller than the OSIRIS-REx mission’s original plans for a 164 ft (50 m) wide sampling region, Bennu’s high density of boulders means the team must prepare to sample a markedly smaller area. The image was taken by the PolyCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on March 29 from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.6 km). The field of view is 165 ft (50.3 m). For scale, the light-colored rock that looks like a spear tip in the crater is 16 ft (4.8 m) long, which is about the same length as a box truck. The image was obtained during Flyby 4B of the mission’s Detailed Survey: Baseball Diamond phase. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was over the northern hemisphere, pointing PolyCam slightly south.

Date Taken: March 29, 2019

Instrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


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