About the OSIRIS-REx Mission
Exploring Our Past, Securing Our Future

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will travel to a near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36, study it in detail, and bring back a sample (at least 60 grams or 2.1 ounces) to Earth.

This sample will help us investigate planet formation and the origin of life, and the data collected at the asteroid will also aid our understanding of asteroids that can impact Earth.

Download the OSIRIS-REx mission information sheet! (Also available in Spanish!)

Want to learn more about the OSIRIS-REx mission? Read the answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions here!

About the OSIRIS-REx Mission
Science Objectives

The science objectives of the mission define the questions we want to ask about the asteroid and the information we want to learn through sampling, mapping and measuring it.


The major science objectives include:

  • Return and Analyze a Sample.
  • Create Maps of the Asteroid.
  • Document the Sample Site.
  • Measure the Orbit Deviations.
  • Compare to Ground-based Observations.


To learn more about the OSIRIS-REx mission read our most Frequently Asked Questions here!

Target Asteroids!

Target Asteroids! is an opportunity for amateur astronomers to participate in a long-term citizen science project that will contribute to basic scientific understanding of near-Earth objects (NEOs).

Amateur astronomer observers will compile information about asteroids. Citizen scientists' astrometry and photometry data will enable scientists to refine orbits, test models of the dynamical evolution and determine the composition of these objects.

To learn more about Target Asteroids! program click here.


December 20, 2012

This fall NASA Reduced Gravity Office flew the “OSIRIS-REx Low-Gravity Regolith Sampling Tests” on NASA’s C-9 aircraft, called the “Weightless Wonder.” Each of the five flights included five test chambers and several OSIRIS-REx team members to run the tests. They were able to accomplish highly successful tests of sampling mechanisms and have some amazing fun too!


Science Team members, Dante Lauretta, Bill Boynton, Beau Bierhaus and Scott...