NASA's OSIRIS REx asteroid probe has already had a busy year. After arriving at Bennu's space rock in early December, the 2018 spacecraft closed the orbit around the object, making Bennu the smallest body ever to orbit a man-made spacecraft.
Now that NASA is Preparing for the Will After a month-long study of the asteroid, the OSIRIS REx team has unveiled the most impressive images of the rock so far. The photos taken with the NavCam's orbital probe imaging tools give us an even better view of the spilled surface of Bennu.
Photos released by NASA are incredibly detailed and sharp, showing the rocky surface of Bennu in deposits of varying sizes. OSIRIS-REx, who eventually has to pick a spot where a sample of asteroid material can get caught, will do its job as it does its best to avoid the many jagged rocks we see here.
"These two OpNav images of Bennu's southern hemisphere, each with an exposure time of approximately 1.4 milliseconds were conquered from a distance of about a mile on January 17, "writes NASA. "They were cut off and the contrast was adjusted to make the surface features more visible."
To help you better understand the size of the asteroid and the smaller objects on its surface, NASA says that the large boulder in the second image, published above, has a width of about 50 meters.
About the next year, OSIRIS-REx will study the asteroid's surface and make various measurements that it will send back to Earth. Eventually, the spacecraft will perform a tricky sampling and then fly back to Earth to provide material for avid scientists.