OSIRIS-APEX: From Bennu to Apophis

Canadian Space Agency

Reinvented as OSIRIS-APEX, the spacecraft formerly known as OSIRIS-REx has embarked on a new mission to study asteroid Apophis. (Credit: NASA)

On September 24, 2023, after a 7-year-long journey through space, the OSIRIS-REx capsule landed with its precious sample of asteroid Bennu. Canada contributed the scanning lidar OLA to the mission, which provided unprecedented information on the asteroid's shape and surface features and helped select the best site for sample selection.

Reinvented as OSIRIS-APEX, the spacecraft will continue to explore the cosmos as part of a new mission to study asteroid Apophis.

The OSIRIS-APEX mission is designed to observe the asteroid Apophis, which will make a close approach to Earth in 2029, bringing it within 32,000 kilometres of Earth's surface (about 1/10th of the distance to the Moon).

OSIRIS-APEX will perform a manoeuvre in which it will:

The Canadian instrument OLA (OSIRIS Laser Altimeter) played a crucial role in the success of OSIRIS-REx, generating around 3 billion individual measurements. OLA will be similarly important during the OSIRIS-APEX mission: it will collect precise measurements for 3D mapping of Apophis.

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Published: 2024-07-10 07:51