Here is a list of some of the questions scientists hope to answer with the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission:
Goal: Map the asteroid
- What is the asteroid like up close?
- Where should we sample?
Goal: Examine the sample site and collect the sample
- What kind of materials will we find?
- Can we find organic (carbon-rich) materials?
Goal: Return the sample to Earth and analyze it
- How old is the material on Bennu?
- How much carbon and water does the sample contain?
- What does the sample reveal about the early solar system?
- What does the sample reveal about asteroids as sources of Earth's water?
Goal: Take measurements of the asteroid's orbit
- Is Bennu an impact hazard to the Earth?
- What can Bennu reveal about how asteroid's orbits change?
Goal: Compare data to telescope observations
- Are the interpretations of telescope observations confirmed by close-up observations?
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