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OSIRIS-REx: NASA's Asteroid Sample-Return Mission in Pictures

Osiris Rex Instruments

UA/OSIRIS-REX Mission

This graphic whose the location of science instruments on NASA’s Osiris-Rex asteroid sample-return mission.

SP_160729_spectrometer_osiris_rex.jpg

NASA/GSFC

Why Do Space Probes Have Spectrometers? OSIRIS-REx Instrument Explained | Video

OSIRIS-REx in the Clean Room

Calla Cofield/Space.com

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in the clean room at the Lockheed Martin facility. The spacecraft (with the silver cap) is set to launch in September.

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft at Lockheed Martin

Calla Cofield/Space.com

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, built at Lockheed Martin's Littleton, Colorado campus, will collect a sample from asteroid Bennu and return it to Earth. The spacecraft is kept in a clean room to reduce the risk of contaminating the asteroid sample with material from Earth.

Asteroid Sample Mission Spacecraft, OSIRIS-REx

Lockheed Martin

The high gain antenna and solar arrays were installed on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft prior to it moving to environmental testing.

OSIRIS-REx's sample-return capsule

Lockheed Martin

OSIRIS-REx's sample-return capsule will bring back to Earth bits and pieces of asteroid Bennu.

Leonard David in OSIRIS-REx Clean Room

Leonard David

NASA’s spacecraft to an asteroid – the OSIRIS-REx mission — is being readied for a 2016 liftoff. Gary Napier, Lockheed Martin spokesman (left) and reporter Leonard David (right) stand in front of spacecraft build-up on April 6, 2015 as technicians work on the probe for launch next year.

OSIRIS-Rex Spacecraft Assembly

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin technicians in a clean room facility near Denver assembled NASA's OSIRIS-Rex asteroid-sampling spacecraft.

NASA’s Osiris-Rex Next to a Person

UA/OSIRIS-REX Mission

This image shows how large NASA’s Osiris-Rex asteroid sampling spacecraft is compared to a person.

Criteria for Choosing Asteroid 1999 RQ36

UA/OSIRIS-REX Mission

This chart depicts the criteria for choosing asteroid 1999 RQ36 as the target asteroid for NASA’s Osiris-Rex mission.

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.