Launched on September 8, 2016, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft began its approach phase to asteroid Bennu on August 17, 2018. The photograph shows Bennu as a point of light and was taken from 1,358,459 miles away.
The animated GIF shows five photographs of Bennu taken over the course of an hour so you can see the progress of Bennu on the background star field.
On August 17 2018, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft obtained the first images of Bennu. Click to view the full sequence. Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
Principal Investigator Dr. Dante Lauretta: “There was a lot of good news in this image for us. First of all, the asteroid was right where we thought it was. The spacecraft was where it was supposed to be and pointing in the right direction. Our spacecraft navigation team has done a fantastic job so far getting us the approach trajectory of Bennu. The spacecraft has operated flawlessly throughout the outbound cruise phase. Its ability to point the cameras and collect data is well demonstrated.”
Dante Lauretta answering questions from the press during the OSIRIS-REx prelaunch briefing. Photo credit: Jared Haworth / We Report Space
“The asteroid was at the brightness we expected it to ...