OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft with Canadian Instrument Begins Approach Phase to Asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx first image of asteroid Bennu. Credit: NASA/University of Arizona.

On Friday, August 24th NASA hosted a media teleconference on the OSIRIS-REx mission which will return an asteroid sample to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is now preparing to conduct approach maneuvers as it heads for a December 3rd rendezvous with asteroid Bennu.

Canada’s participation

Canada is participating in the mission by providing the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter or OLA, as its called. The OLA instrument will create a critical 3-D map of asteroid Bennu’s shape as well as assisting with spacecraft navigation.

Tim Haltigin, Senior Mission Scientist, Planetary Exploration at the Canadian Space Agency told SpaceQ in an email “the Canadian OSIRIS-REx team is tremendously excited to see the mission’s first images of asteroid Bennu. Several times during the spacecraft’s cruise, we have confirmed that the CSA-contributed OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) survived the launch and continues to be in excellent health. We’re very much looking forward to its first measurements of Bennu in early December.”

OSIRIS-REx mission operations timeline
OSIRIS-REx mission operations timeline. Credit: University of Arizona.

Listen in as NASA provides and update and answers journalist questions. For more information on Canada’s participation, I would direct to you Episode 23 of the SpaceQ podcast where I interviewed Mike Daly from York University.


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About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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