NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe has entered the orbit of the 101955 Bennu asteroid after arriving at the large space rock in early December. This event marks the first spacecraft to orbit a space object as small as the asteroid, which measures 1,600 feet in diameter. Its main objective now is to collect material from the asteroid and successfully transport the samples back to Earth, but it has around two years to continue its orbit, though, so it won’t begin gathering samples until 2020. Read more for another video and additional information.
The OSIRIS-REx probe is expected to return to Earth by 2023 after taking some rock samples from the surface of the Bennu asteroid, which is approximately 70 million miles from Earth. Studying these rock samples will enable scientists to learn how it was formed and uncover other secrets about its origins, while also getting a clearer idea of the origins of our solar system and Earth.