Taking Pictures of an Asteroid
NASA is sending the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to explore near-Earth asteroid Bennu, a carbon-rich body that may contain clues to the origins of life. When OSIRIS-REx arrives at Bennu in 2018, it will spend over a year orbiting the asteroid and studying it with a set of remote sensing instruments. The OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite, or OCAMS, will provide high-resolution images of Bennu, allowing OSIRIS-REx to map the asteroid, determine its mineralogy, and even take close-up pictures of the surface at less than a centimeter per pixel. After OCAMS and its fellow instruments have thoroughly surveyed Bennu, OSIRIS-REx will carry out its most important task: collecting a sample of the asteroid for return to Earth in 2023.
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