NASA grabs a chunk of asteroid — with help from students at MIT and Harvard

Breanne Kovatch and Andrew Stanton | The Boston Globe
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Yesterday, NASA's OSIRIS-REx made contact with the asteroid Bennu and picked up a sample -- with the help of students from MIT and Harvard, Breanne Kovatch and Andrew Stanton report for The Boston Globe. The spacecraft houses the instrument REXIS, or Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer, which used X-rays to scan the surface and help select the perfect spot to sample. “'We’re thrilled,' Binzel, a planetary sciences professor at MIT and instrument scientist for REXIS, said in a telephone interview after the spacecraft completed its scoop. 'We pulled off a very risky maneuver and all indications are that it went perfectly.'”

Read the full story at The Boston Globe

Story Image: This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on Dec. 2 by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles. The image was obtained at a 50 degree phase angle between the spacecraft, asteroid, and the sun. Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona