This incredible image of asteroid 101955 Bennu was captured on Jun. 13, 2019, shortly after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft executed its second orbital insertion maneuver. From the spacecraft’s vantage point in orbit, you can observe that half of Bennu is sunlit and half is in shadow, while its largest boulder can also be seen protruding from the southern hemisphere. It was taken from a distance of 0.4 miles above the asteroid’s surface by NavCam 1, one of three navigation cameras that comprise the spacecraft’s TAGCAMS (the Touch-and-Go Camera System) suite. When you’re this close, details as small as 1.6 feet across can be seen in the center of the image. Read more for another video and additional information.
“This second orbital phase, called Orbital B, broke the record for the closest distance a spacecraft has orbited a body in the Solar System. The spacecraft is now in a bound, circular orbit 0.4 miles (680 m) from the asteroid’s surface. TAGCAMS was designed, built and tested by Malin Space Science Systems; Lockheed Martin integrated TAGCAMS to the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and operates TAGCAMS,” said NASA.