the planets today logo

We use cookies. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. OK, Got it

Video version of flight path. Your browser does not support the required version of Adobe Flash Player.

Spacecraft Mission Pages
Mariner 2 Pioneer & Voyager Voyager Galileo Cassini-Huygens Rosetta
Messenger Dawn New Horizons Juno OSIRIS-REx ExoMars

Where is the OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft right now?

The app above shows the trajectory of the OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft and where it is right now. You can also wind the animation backwards in time to watch its launch and its flyby of the Earth before reaching the asteroid Bennu in 2018, and returning samples back to earth in 2023.

OSIRIS-REx launched on 8th September 2016

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft (Artists Impression)

OSIRIS-REx

This mission could help to save the world... quite literally! Bennu is a 500 meter wide asteroid that crosses earths orbit and has a low probablity (about 0.04%) of hitting the earth in the next 200 years. This mission allows this asteroid to be studied in great detail and will return samples of rock to Earth allowing better analysis than has ever been possible before. It will also allow a more accurate the track of the asteroid to be determined so that we will have a better estimate of the chances of impact. Also knowing its structure will (hopefully) allow scientists to develop ways of changing its orbit to protect the Earth if necessary.

Here as some videos that explain this exciting mission:

OSIRIS-REx Launch Video (8 September 2016)

Overview

Pre-launch Briefing

Schedule:

Sep 8th 2016Launch
Aug 17th 2018 Approach Bennu
Mar 18th 2019 Asteroid Survey Begins
Jul 4th 2020Sample Aquisition
Mar 3rd 2021Return
Sep 4th 2023 Sample Release. Spacecraft enters solar orbit
Sep 24th 2023 Sample Enters Earth atmosphere for recovery

More Information:

OSIRIS-REx NASA Site
OSIRIS-REx Wikipedia