The film shows the asteroid Bennu, leading right, roughly 43 kilometres in the spacecraft, along with also the Earth and moon, bottom left, over 110 million kilometres off.
The very small asteroid – hardly 500 meters – seems as a large glowing blob from the long-exposure photograph released a week, ” the report stated.
Launched in Florida at 2016, OSIRIS-REx spacecraft attained Bennu on December 3, 2018 after travelling over a billion miles through space. The spacecraft will spend nearly annually surveying the space rock .
On January 1, 2019, the spacecraft, 110 million kilometres off, completed one, eight-second burn off of its own thrusters. It will circle Bennu roughly 1.75 kilometres from the center, closer than any other spacecraft has come to its celestial object of research.
Previously, the nearest orbit of a planetary body was May 2016, when the Rosetta spacecraft orbited approximately seven kilometres in the middle of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The spacecraft is scheduled to orbit Bennu via mid-February in a leisurely 62 hours each orbit.
The OSIRIS-REx staff will resume mathematics operations in late February.
At the stage, the spacecraft will conduct a series of close flybys of Bennu for many weeks to shoot high-resolution pictures of each square inch of the asteroid to help pick a sampling website.
The OSIRIS-REx assignment is scheduled to provide the sample to Earth in September 2023.