On Aug. 17, 2018, OSIRIS-REx caught its first glimpse of Bennu and officially began approaching the asteroid. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive in early December and begin surveying the asteroid up close to reveal the secrets of the early Solar System. We're going in!
After a two-year, two-billion-kilometer journey, OSIRIS-REx arrived at its destination -- asteroid Bennu -- on Dec. 3, 2018. The following week, the mission science team shared their initial discoveries about the asteroid, including the detection of water on its surface. On Dec. 31, OSIRIS-REx will go into orbit around Bennu for the first time -- setting new records for the smallest body ever orbited by a spacecraft and the closest orbit of a planetary body by any spacecraft.
On Sept. 8, 2016, OSIRIS-REx launched on its seven year journey to return a sample from the asteroid Bennu. After three and half months of testing and final preparations at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, OSIRIS-REx dazzled with a flawless departure on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:05 pm EDT.