OSIRIS-APEX

Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Apophis Explorer

active Mission

OSIRIS-APEX, a follow-on to OSIRIS-REx, will study the physical changes to asteroid Apophis after the asteroid’s rare close encounter with Earth in 2029.

Mission Type

Asteroid Rendezvous

destination

Apophis

arrival

April 2029

objective

Study how a close pass of Earth affects a “stony” asteroid

Overview

OSIRIS-APEX is a mission to study the physical changes to asteroid Apophis that will result from its rare close encounter with Earth in April 2029. That year, Apophis’ orbit will bring it within 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) of Earth’s surface — closer to Earth than our highest-altitude satellites. Our planet’s gravitational pull is expected to alter the asteroid’s orbit, change how and how fast it spins on its axis, and possibly cause quakes or landslides that will alter its surface. OSIRIS-APEX will allow scientists on Earth to observe these changes. Additionally, the OSIRIS-APEX spacecraft will dip toward the surface of Apophis ­– a “stony” asteroid made of silicate (or rocky) material and a mixture of metallic nickel and iron ­ – and fire its engines to kick up loose rocks and dust. This maneuver will give scientists a peek at the composition of material just below the asteroid’s surface.

OSIRIS-APEX, formerly OSIRIS-REx, will use its thrusters to stir up rocks and dust on the surface of Apophis to allow scientists to see just below. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab
A white triangle with a blue inner border. In the middle is a round, grey lump, with a red swoosh wrapped around it. An object with wings hovers over the lump on its top left. Underneath this scene, is the mission name, and underneath that is a brief description of it.

OSIRIS-REx

active Mission

OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. mission to collect an asteroid sample in 2020, delivered the sample to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023.

Learn More
Artistic visualization of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample.
NASA / University of Arizona
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