NASA’s asteroid mission is getting closer and closer, with the Osiris-Rex spacecraft lining up to collect samples from the Nightingale area of Bennu. On Tuesday, it will fly just 820 feet, or 250 meters, above Bennu’s surface, Osiris-Rex tweeted.
Osiris-Rex, which last fall, has also .
NASA decided in December taht Osiris-Rex would collect samples at the Nightingale area of the asteroid, despite the location having “some hazards around it,” according to principal investigator Dante Lauretta. Nightingale gives Osiris-Rex the best chance of getting its robot hands on “organic material and water-bearing material,” NASA says.
Sample collection is scheduled for mid-2020, with Osiris-Rex to return to Earth in late 2023.