NASAs OSIRISREx Gets Cozy With Asteroid Bennu in CloseUp Image

first_img NASA’s OSIRIS-REx is getting cozy with asteroid Bennu: The spacecraft just snapped another detailed image that highlights the space rock’s distinctive features and terrain.The image, which was captured on June 13 after OSIRIS-REx completed its second orbital insertion maneuver, shows half of asteroid Bennu’s surface with sunlight and the other half surrounded by a shadow, said a NASA OSIRIS-REx press release. It was taken from a distance of 0.4 miles above the space rock’s surface by NavCam 1, one of three navigation cameras that are part of OSIRIS-REx’s TAGCAMS (the Touch-and-Go Camera System) suite.This is the view from the closest orbit a spacecraft has ever made around a planetary body.This navigation image of asteroid Bennu was taken shortly after orbital insertion on June 13 from a distance of 0.4 miles (690 m).Image details:— NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) June 17, 2019What’s interesting about the close-up image is that it points out a bizarre feature of the space rock, a “mole” that sticks out of its largest boulder, which is located at the bottom of the asteroid, TechCrunch noted. Thanks to the TAGCAMS, this “mole” and other details as tiny as 1.6 feet across, can be spotted on asteroid Bennu’s surface.BIG NEWS GUYS. We just broke our own record for the closest a spacecraft has ever orbited a small planetary body I’m now hanging out 2231 ft (680 m) above Bennu’s surface.— NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) June 13, 2019Dubbed Orbital B, OSIRIS-REx’s second orbital phase broke the record for the most adjacent distance a spacecraft has orbited a body in the solar system. Currently, the spacecraft is traveling around in a bound, circular orbit 0.4 miles away from the space rock’s surface.More on Can Help NASA Find Landing Spots on Asteroid BennuAsteroid Bennu Is a Technicolor Wonder in Trippy 3D ViewNASA Reveals Big Surprises About Asteroid Bennu Stay on target Scientists Uncover New Evidence of Asteroid That Killed DinosaursWashington Monument-Sized Asteroid Will Fly By Earth on Aug. 28 last_img read more