Explore Asteroids with OSIRIS-REx
Artists conception of the OSIRIS-REx probe taking a sample of asteroid Bennu
Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

On September 8, 2016, the OSIRIS-REx mission launched on a Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on its mission to asteroid Bennu. This probe will make a detailed map of asteroid Bennu and then retrieve a sample of the asteroid itself using a clever vacuum-like tool before returning to Earth with its special package by 2023. This epic seven year mission will be the largest extraterrestrial sample return since Apollo went to the Moon!

Curious about any part of the mission? Check out the collection of resources below for all of your OSIRIS-REx curiosity needs! You will find  some great resources about the OSIRIS-REx mission itself, Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) like Bennu, and  asteroids in general.

The official OSIRIS-REx Homepage 
Of course, the ultimate resource for OSIRIS-REx information is the homepage of the mission itself! You can find the latest updates on the status of the mission and many more materials. 

You can also explore the mission's timeline with the interactive mission overview feature here: http://www.asteroidmission.org/mission/

Image detailing the reasons Asteroid Bennu was picked as OSIRIS-REx's target.
How did asteroid Bennu get chosen to be the target for OSIRIS-REx's sample-return? Find out in detail here, with "Why Bennu?" 

Image of Bennus and OSIRIS-Rex with speaker Ed Beshore (inset)
OSIRIS-REx Webinar with  Night Sky Network members
NSN members joined  Ed Beshore in July 2016  for a live video webinar as he shared the inside scoop on the OSIRIS-REx mission, and he answered members' many questions in a very interesting Q&A session at the end of his hour-long talk. Links to more OSIRIS-REx resources and the webinar recording can be found on this page as well.

Image of artist conception of the impact that created Bennu
Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

The Long, Strange Trio of Asteroid Bennu
Explore the origins and journey of asteroid Bennu itself. If you think the journey of OSIRIS-REx is going to be long, just wait until you see Bennu's! How did Bennu form, where did it come from-and how did it end up as a NEO?

Logo for the pace Rocks ToolKit
Space Rocks ToolKit

NSN Member astronomy clubs use this education outreach toolkit to explore the various types of space rocks and answer visitor questions about meteorites, asteroids, craters, and more. The activities inside are free for anyone to download and use. The "Scaling the Asteroid Belt" and "Asteroid Hunters" activities are highlighted below.

artists conception of the aateroid belt-a beautiful but misleading image
Artists conception of the asteroid belt-a beautiful but misleading image

Activity: Scaling the Asteroid Belt
This fun group activity shows just how "crowded" our asteroid belt really is. It turns out the asteroid belt is a bit more spacious than many movies and illustrations would lead you to believe!

infrared image
Asteroid Hunters
Explains how we find many Near-Earth Objects like asteroid Bennu with infrared detectors. 

Asteroid Watch
The homepage of JPL's Near Earth Object Office has the latest news on asteroids and on our efforts to track and understand these potentially dangerous objects.

Good luck to the OSIRIS-REx team on their mission! You can follow the very latest news on the mission's social media pages, check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

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