Space station OSIRIS-REx got the most detailed image of the region “Osprey” in the Equatorial part of the asteroid Bennu, which is considered a reserve area for collecting soil samples from the asteroid. It was done during the recent close passage of the apparatus over the area, reported on the website of the mission.
The main purpose interplanetary probe OSIRIS-REx is obtaining a soil sample from near-earth asteroid class (101955) Bennu and its delivery to Earth. Further study of the soil in the laboratory to learn more about the composition protocolecho nebula and differences between asteroids of different types. It is expectedthat 20 October 2020, the station will try to take the soil from the field “Nightingale”, which is located inside the 70-meter crater and is distinguished by very low albedo. The reserve area was designated area “Osprey”, a width of 16 meters. It is inside a 20 metre crater to the North of the equator Benn, and may contain a substance rich in carbon.
26 may 2020 OSIRIS-REx went odnokratnoe orbit around Bennu, then he made the closest flyby over the “Skopa”, being 250 meters from the asteroid’s surface. The purpose of the migration was the preparation of detailed site maps that will help scientists to estimate the size of soil particles and to prepare a catalogue of images required for Autonomous operation of the navigation system of the station if the scientists decide to try to take the soil from “the Osprey”. In addition, the unit studied during the span of the surface of the asteroid using on-Board spectrometers.
The result of the passage had become a mosaic image of the “Osprey”, is composed of 347 individual images obtained with PolyCam camera, which is the most detailed to date. In the image one can distinguish the soil particles with a size of up to five millimeters. Place a sample of soil is slightly above the dark spots in the center of the crater, in the bottom of the mosaic. Long blond boulder to the left of the dark spot, called the great gray Owl (Strix Saxum), has a length of 5.2 m.