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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

OSIRIS-REx Sets Low-Orbit Record, Enters New Orbital B Mission Phase

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2019 • 1

Last week, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample-return mission announced that they had achieved an orbit above asteroid Bennu with an altitude of only 680 meters. Now they are surveying for landing sites and have invited the public's help.

Fun With a New Data Set: The OSIRIS-REx Earth Flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2019

The OSIRIS-REx team recently issued their first data release to the Planetary Data System. This release doesn’t include any closeup pictures of asteroid Bennu, but it does include all the pictures they took during their September 2017 Earth flyby.

News brief: OSIRIS-REx arrives in orbit at Bennu

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2018 • 1

Today at 19:43 UTC, OSIRIS-REx entered orbit at asteroid Bennu. In so doing, it accomplished both the tightest orbit (at an altitude under 2 kilometers) and the orbit of the smallest object ever. UPDATE: Early science results from OSIRIS-REx discussed at New Horizons MU69 flyby event.

OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons catch first sight of their targets

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2018 • 3

Both OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons achieved first light on their still-distant targets this week. Between now and the end of 2018, Bennu and 2014 MU69 will turn from points of light into places.

Get ready for OSIRIS-REx at Bennu! ...but be patient.

Emily Lakdawalla • June 12, 2018 • 1

NASA's OSIRIS-REx will get the first sight of its target Bennu in August and go into orbit in December.

OSIRIS-REx shows us space isn't entirely empty

Emily Lakdawalla • April 20, 2018 • 1

What a cool photo of OSIRIS-REx's sample return capsule! But wait, what's that black dot near the top?

Earth flyby tests OSIRIS-REx's cameras

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2017

As expected, OSIRIS-REx's Earth flyby on September 22 was a success. The mission is slowly releasing beautiful images of our home worlds taken by its many cameras following the flyby.

OSIRIS-REx Earth flyby: What to Expect

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2017 • 2

OSIRIS-REx launched on September 8, 2016. Now, a year later, it's returning to its home to get a second boost on to its destination, the asteroid Bennu. It'll test all its cameras on Earth and the Moon in the 10 days after the flyby.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016 • 4

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

OSIRIS-REx’s cameras see first light

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016

As OSIRIS-REx speeds away from Earth, it’s been turning on and testing out its various engineering functions and science instruments. Proof of happy instrument status has come from several cameras, including the star tracker, MapCam, and StowCam.

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