October 20, is an exciting day for planetary science. NASA’s ambitious OSIRIS-REx asteroid rendezvous mission will attempt to sample the surface of asteroid Bennu to retrieve material that will be returned to Earth in September 2023. A decade of preparation on the ground led to a September 2016 launch and December 2018 arrival at the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. For the past 20 months, the spacecraft has studied Bennu to determine where to take the sample and how to do it safely. Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY) provided the digital “eyes” that are critical for the mission. These imaging technologies have operated flawlessly during the entire mission, taking visible images, measuring surface topology, and using visible-infrared spectroscopy to assess surface material composition.
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