The Bennu asteroid, which is the first one to be visited by Osiris-Rex, was previously known as 1999 RQ36 until one day it was renamed after suggestions of thousands of schoolchildren were taken into consideration. The rendezvous with Bennu is expected to be sometime in 2018. The spacecraft will not only begin collecting measurements but it will also bring 60grams of the asteroid’s surface back to Earth in 2023.
While for some this all sounds like it is taken out of a science fiction novel for most of us it will be soon a reality. NASA’s mission passed the confirmation review that was done at the agency level this Wednesday and this means developing will begin soon.