Subject line: exploration and study of the asteroids
Responsibility of the mission: NASA
Date of launch: September 9th, 2016
End of mission: 2023
OSIRIS-Rex (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer) is a space mission developed by the NASA, aimed at exploring the asteroids in the framework of the New Frontiers Programme.
Launched on September 9th, 2016, from the Launch Complex 41 in Cape Canaveral, OSIRIS-Rex is the first mission aimed at collecting a sample of rock from an asteroid and its studies will be useful to define the future missions, in order to predict and avoid an impact with an asteroid.
OSIRIS will spend a period of time between six months and one year around the asteroid Bennu. Afterwards, it will take a few samples: each of them weighs about 60 grams, and will be directly analysed when the probe will return to Earth, in 2023. Among the goals of the mission, Osiris will also map the global, chemical and mineralogical properties of a primordial carbonaceous asteroid, to characterise its geological history.
The study and exploration of the asteroids will allow to obtain information on the formation of the solar system.