NASA Will Need Your Help Mapping Asteroid Bennu


OSIRIS-REx captured these images of Bennu during its first close flight over the asteroid’s north pole. (Image: © NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is simple — click on the boulders you see in a detailed image of a distant space rock.

By Meghan Bartels | SPACE.com

That straightforward task could steer NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission toward a successful sample collection from an asteroid named Bennu. The team in charge of the spacecraft will have just six weeks between producing an extremely high-resolution map of Bennu’s surface and choosing where precisely to gather a sample from that rock.

„It is a massive task to actually map every single boulder on the surface, and we just didn’t know a better way to do it in the amount of time,“ Carina Bennett, an imaging processing engineer for the mission based at the University of Arizona, told Space.com. „We basically really, truly need the help.“

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