OSIRIS-REx Mission: Important Topics for UPSC Exams
- The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security,
Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) is a NASA asteroid study and sample return
mission launched in September 2016.
- OSIRIS-REx seeks answers to the questions that are central to the human
experience: Where did we come from? What is our destiny?
- Asteroids, the leftover debris from the solar system formation process,
can answer these questions and teach us about the history of the sun and
- Mission : is to study asteroid 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous
asteroid, and return a sample to Earth in 2023 for detailed analysis.
- Bennu may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life and the
Earth’s oceans. Bennu is also one of the most potentially hazardous
asteroids, as it has a relatively high probability of impacting the Earth
late in the 22nd century.
- OSIRIS-REx will determine Bennu’s physical and chemical properties,
which will be critical to know in the event of an impact mitigation mission.
- Finally, asteroids like Bennu contain natural resources such as water,
organics, and precious metals.
- In the future, these asteroids may one day fuel the exploration of the
solar system by robotic and manned spacecraft.
- Return and analyze a sample of Bennu’s surface
- Map the asteroid
- Document the sample site
- Measure the orbit deviation caused by non-gravitational forces (the
- Compare observations at the asteroid to ground-based observations
It is the third planetary science mission selected in the New Frontiers program,
after Juno and New Horizons.