OSIRIS-REx was unable to photograph the surface of the asteroid Bennu due to a malfunction

Asteroid Bennu is a spherical carbon object, which is being investigated by the OSIRIS-REx probe. Planned

that the probe will collect soil from the asteroid, make a map of its surface and return to Earth by 2023.

Now OSIRIS-REx in the course of the Detailed programSurvey: Baseball Diamond is fully exploring the asteroid. As part of the mission, the probe is engaged in the construction of an accurate Bennu model, the creation of detailed color and panchromatic surface maps, as well as the choice of a place for further landing on an asteroid.

In January, the device rented candidate places forlanding on the surface of the asteroid. The analysis of the images showed that during one of the sessions, the laser altimeter probe failed. Scientists were afraid that in the future this would lead to the fact that the PolyCam camera could not correctly calculate the distance to the surface and correctly focus.

This is exactly what happened during the next approach of OSIRIS-REx to the Bennu surface. Images received from the device turned out to be of very poor quality.

Mission astronomers are now deciding howadjust the lidar and prevent similar failures in the future. Scientists need to do this before the beginning of March - that is, before a new session of flights over the surface of the asteroid.

Previously, astronomers from the OSIRIS-REx mission took pictures of the destruction of the astroid Bennu. Scientists long observe strange explosions on the surface of the asteroid, and now the probe’s cameras done a few snapshots of this phenomenon.