Preliminary Survey of Bennu

Animated GIF of asteroid rotating in space.
January 14, 2019
CreditNASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin Space
Historical DateDecember 31, 2018
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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3, 2018. During the month of December, the spacecraft preformed a preliminary survey of Bennu, conducting three flyovers of the asteroid’s north pole and one each of its equator and south pole. The data gathered during these flybys allowed the mission team to more precisely estimate Bennu’s mass so that the spacecraft went into orbit around the asteroid on Dec. 31, 2018.

This series of images was captured by NavCam 1, a black-and-white imager that is one of three cameras comprising TAGCAMS (the Touch-and-Go Camera System), which is part of OSIRIS-REx’s guidance, navigation, and control system. TAGCAMS was designed, built and tested by Malin Space Science Systems; Lockheed Martin Space integrated TAGCAMS to the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and operates TAGCAMS.