OSIRIS-REx Resources

Explore this page for a curated collection of resources, including activities that can be done at home, as well as videos, animations, posters, and online interactives. This resource package is suitable for educators, students, and anyone interested in learning more about OSIRIS-REx!

Illustration of spacecraft with sample arm extended as it reaches toward the rocky surface of the asteroid

Highlights

Curating the Asteroid Sample

One of the goals of the OSIRIS-REx mission was to collect 60 grams of asteroid material. Curation experts at NASA's Johnson Space Center, working in new clean rooms built especially for the mission, discovered bonus asteroid material covering the outside of the collector head, canister lid, and base. There was so much extra material, it slowed down the careful process of collecting and containing the primary sample.

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Silver, circular sample head with black and dark gray rocks and dust sample inside
A view of the outside of the OSIRIS-REx sample collector. Sample material from asteroid Bennu can be seen on the middle right. Scientists have found evidence of both carbon and water in initial analysis of this material. The bulk of the sample is located inside.
NASA/Erika Blumenfeld & Joseph Aebersold

Return to Earth

On May 10, 2021, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft said farewell to asteroid Bennu and began its journey back to Earth with the precious material it collected from the asteroid. The spacecraft successfully delivered the sample of Bennu on Sept. 24, 2023, with its sample return capsule landing at 8:52 a.m. MDT (10:52 a.m. EDT) in a targeted area of the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City, Utah.

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A black capsule sits in the desert surrounded by scattered plants.
The sample return capsule from NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission is seen shortly after touching down in the desert, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, at the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range. The sample was collected from the asteroid Bennu in October 2020 by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.
NASA/Keegan Barber

TAG Sample Collection

On Oct. 20, 2020, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully touched the surface of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and collected abundant material during the Touch-and-Go (TAG) sample collection event. The sampling event brought the spacecraft all the way down to sample site Nightingale, touching down within 3 feet (1 meter) of the targeted location.

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A series of images that shows the SamCam imager’s field of view as the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft approaches and touches down on asteroid Bennu’s surface.
OSIRIS-REx touches down in the Nightingale sampling site on asteroid Bennu on Oct. 20, 2020. The sampling head touched Bennu's surface for a few seconds, then the spacecraft performed a back-away burn.
NASA/GSFC/University of Arizona

OSIRIS-REx Arrives at Bennu

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft completed its 1.2 billion-mile (2 billion-kilometer) journey to arrive at asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3, 2018. The spacecraft executed a maneuver that transitioned it from flying toward Bennu to operating around the asteroid.

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The gray, rocky surface of asteroid Bennu.
Twelve images captured by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft compose this image of asteroid Bennu.
NASA/GSFC/University of Arizona

Evening Launch for OSIRIS-REx

An Atlas V rocket traced a blazing arc into the Florida sky on Sept. 8, 2016, sending a small robotic explorer called OSIRIS-REx on its way to an asteroid. Scientists anticipate the mission will help us to better understand the early solar system, as well as the hazards and resources of near-Earth space.

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on the first U.S. mission to sample an asteroid, retrieve at least two ounces of surface material and return it to Earth for study.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, on the first U.S. mission to sample an asteroid, retrieve at least two ounces of surface material and return it to Earth for study.
NASA

Mission Animations and Videos

A close up view of diamond-shaped Asteroid Bennu. The asteroid appears gray in this image. Rocks and craters are visible.

Why Did NASA Choose Asteroid Bennu?

Learn about NASA's selection process for choosing the near-Earth asteroid Bennu as the target for the agency's OSIRIS-REx mission.

Black and white image of Bennu's rocky surface

How NASA Will Study the Asteroid Bennu Samples

Learn how the asteroid samples collected by OSIRIS-REx will be curated and made available for scientists around the world to study for decades to come.

Illustration of a spacecraft dropping off a sample capsule at Earth. The text over the illustration says: OSIRIS-REX Asteroid Sample Return, September 24, 2023

To Bennu and Back: Journey's End

Check out this overview of the OSIRIS-REx mission to deliver an asteroid sample to Earth.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft drops its golden-colored sample capsules off over Earth.

OSIRIS-REx and Delivers Sample

Discover how the OSIRIS-REx sample capsule returned to Earth.

OSIRIS-REx in space as it gets ready for the journey home

Heading Back to Earth

OSIRIS-REx completes its mission at asteroid Bennu and starts the journey back to Earth.

Illustration of a spacecraft touching down on an asteroid.

OSIRIS-REx 'TAGs' Bennu

Play-by-play animation of OSIRIS-REx's asteroid sample collection event.

Silver metal wheel-shaped container with black-gray regolith inside the pie-shaped container areas

Looking for the Building Blocks of Life in Asteroid Samples

NASA Goddard research scientist Danielle Simkus discusses the planned laboratory analyses of OSIRIS-REx's collected samples.

Close up of rocky Bennu terrain in black and white

Tour of Asteroid Bennu

This 3D tour of Bennu was created using data and images from the OSIRIS-REx mission.

OSIRIS-REx's circular sample collector touches the surface of Bennu in this illustration.

NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio's OSIRIS-REx Gallery

Explore this gallery for videos and animations relating to the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Related Videos

A man bouncing a ball on a basketball court with an illustration of OSIRIS-REx off to one side. The image a still shot from a video.

Epic Shot for the NBA and NASA

The perfect shot is tough to land, whether it's an NBA 3-pointer or a sample capsule.

basketball net in a lit stadium

How We Prepare: OSIRIS-REx and WNBA

Discover how an elite athlete and a NASA mission manager prepare for critical moments.

Bennu full globe

Ask an Astrobiologist

Scientists explain what asteroid Bennu can teach us about the origin of our solar system.

hand-drawn illustration of solar system

321 Science!

Explore 22 short videos about OSIRIS-REx and the science of asteroids.

Screengrab of NASA eclips logo, text against a half-moon shape on the upper right letters

Encounter with an Asteroid

In this edition of NASA's eClips video series for K-12 students, OSIRIS-REx is the highlighted topic.

A big, slightly oblong, dark and light grey asteroid is moving from the upper right to the lower left, shedding smaller chunks of material and a cloud of dust.

What You Need To Know About Asteroids and Other Near-Earth Objects

Learn how we find, track, and monitor near-Earth objects.

Activities

An animated paper-like spacecraft is shown with a smiley face. A starry sky is shown in the background, with a rocky surface in the foreground.

OSIRIS-REx Kooky Craftable

Experience the wonders of OSIRIS-REx by creating your very own spacecraft in paper craft form! Image courtesy: Kooky Craftables

Line drawing of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft with sample arm extended to asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx Coloring Pages

Color illustrations of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft exploring asteroid Bennu and returning to Earth with a precious asteroid sample.

Screenshot of the front page of the OSIRIS-REx pocket spacecraft activity. A spacecraft is shown with its touch-and-go arm extended.

Pocket-Sized OSIRIS-REx

Download a pocket-sized version of OSIRIS-REx and take it exploring.

Six play dough balls of varying sizes and shapes are shown.

Make Your Own Asteroid

Make your own model asteroid at home using a variety of materials.

photo of child doing OSIRIS-REx activity

Down to the Core

This PBS Kids activity uses a potato to test how to take a core sample.

Image if a 3D printout of Bennu

3D Model: Bennu

Download the schematics to print your own 3D model of Bennu.

Additional Resources

Close up image of Enceladus surface

NASA Solar System Treks: Bennu

Explore these online portals to explore the surfaces of other worlds using real data returned from spacecraft. Visit Bennu now!

Eyes on Asteroids

NASA's Eyes on Asteroids

This interactive app uses data to visualize the orbits of asteroids and comets.

Dynamic artist concept poster showing a spacecraft approaching an asteroid

OSIRIS-REx Mission Posters

Download OSIRIS-REx posters and collectibles from the University of Arizona.

Art for podcast episode featuring image of OSIRIS-REx

Podcast: Return of the OREx

Check out this OSIRIS-REx episode of "Houston We Have a Podcast."

This map shows the various surface features on Bennu with names approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

IAU Map of Bennu

Download a map of Bennu's features from the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Illustration of asteroid

Asteroid Watch Dashboard

Track the next five asteroids making the closest passes by Earth.

Results from NASA NEOWISE survey find that more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested.

NASA Small-Body Database

Look up the details about user-specified asteroids and comets.