Osiris-Rex Sample Collection

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Bennu Asteroid Samples and Returned Flight Collection

Near-Earth Asteroid Bennu, the target of the OSIRIS-Rex mission Near-Earth Asteroid Bennu, the target of the OSIRIS-Rex mission.
(Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft returned over 120 grams of sample from asteroid Bennu. The asteroid samples in the collection include particles that range from centimeter-sized rocks to sub-micrometer-sized fine dust. Most of mass of the OSIRIS-REx collection is currently containerized and documented as aggregate samples, which are samples that include multiple particles.

The asteroid samples were photo documented by the Advanced Imaging and Visualization of Astromaterials (AIVA) group during sample collector hardware disassembly and prior to subdivision of samples from the bulk sample trays, as part of intensive multi-day photography campaigns during preliminary examination (PE). These high-resolution curation images can be accessed through the OSIRIS-REx Sample Information/AIVA Images webpage linked on the left-hand side bar. In addition, processing images taken with hand-held cameras are included on the sample detail pages that can be found through the OSIRIS-REx Sample Information/OSIRIS-REx Samples Database webpage linked on the left-hand side bar.

The collection also includes contact pads with associated particles, flight witness plates, and returned hardware items. In some cases, returned hardware items have adhering asteroid sample.