NASA is busy identifying the best landing site for its OSIRIS-REx mission to collect samples from the rocky asteroid Bennu,media reported. After a series of work, they have now reduced the landing site to four, two of which will eventually be identified as sample collection and backup points. It is reported that the four landing site candidates are Sandpiper, Osprey, Kingfisher, Nightingale.
Each location has its own strengths and potential weaknesses.
In addition to ensuring that OSIRIS-REx has access to samples from asteroids without risk of hitting rocks or gravel, NASA must also ensure that the sample at the selected location is less than 2.5 cm in diameter.
For the four sites, NASA says it’s hard to determine them at the moment, and they must consider the scientific value of the materials they collect in addition to the safety and size of the sample sites.