Comets and Asteroids

Sample Return Update: OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Revealed

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
January 22, 2024
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Sample Return Update: OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Revealed
A top-down view of the OSIRIS-REx Touch-and-Go-Sample-Acquisition-Mechanism (TAGSAM) head with the lid removed, revealing the remainder of the asteroid sample inside. — NASA

Erika Blumenfeld, creative lead for the Advanced Imaging and Visualization of Astromaterials (AIVA) and Joe Aebersold, project management lead, captured this picture using manual high-resolution precision photography and a semi-automated focus stacking procedure.

The result is an image that can be zoomed in on to show extreme detail of the sample. The remaining sample material includes dust and rocks up to about .4 in (one cm) in size.

Credit: NASA/Erika Blumenfeld & Joseph Aebersold larger image


Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻