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article imageNASA invites public to send their artwork to asteroid Bennu

By Karen Graham     Feb 21, 2016 in Science
NASA's OSIRIS-REx is set to begin its journey to the asteroid Bennu in September 2016, on the first U.S. mission to collect an asteroid sample. The agency is inviting the public to take part in the mission by sending their artwork along on the trip.
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx will travel to the asteroid called 101955 Bennu, and using a robotic arm, pluck samples from the asteroid that could better explain our solar system's formation and how life began.
The OSIRIS-REx mission was a collaboration of many people working together in a creative process that developed the technology and instrumentation being used in the mission. This includes the Canadian contribution, as reported in Digital Journal in December.
The OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA). OLA is an advanced LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) system that will scan the entire surface of Bennu, providing a highly accurate, 3D shape model of the asteroid.
The public is invited to send their artwork into space on OSIRIS-REx in September  2016.
The public is invited to send their artwork into space on OSIRIS-REx in September, 2016.
NASA
Building on the spirit of exploration
The agency's #WeTheExplorers campaign is inviting the public to take part in the Bennu mission by expressing, through art, how the spirit of exploration, as exemplified by the mission, is impacting their own personal lives. So be sure to take a minute and go to the #WeThe Explorers site and ponder the question, How will the future of space exploration affect your life and the lives of others.
The public can post artwork on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #WeTheExplorers until March 20. Now it doesn't have to be a picture. Your art can be in the form of a sketch, photograph, graphic, poem, song, short video or other creative work of art. For details on how to include your submission on the mission to Bennu, go to:
http://www.asteroidmission.org/WeTheExplorers
“Space exploration is an inherently creative activity,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “We are inviting the world to join us on this great adventure by placing their artwork on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, where it will stay in space for millennia.”
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NASA
OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program. The program was a major step in the agency's space exploration program, and the missions tackle specific solar system exploration goals. The first mission in the program was called "New Horizons." Launched on January 19, 2006, it was the first scientific investigation to obtain a close look at Pluto and its moons.
Launch of Juno on an Atlas V from Cape Canaveral on May 8  2011.
Launch of Juno on an Atlas V from Cape Canaveral on May 8, 2011.
NASA
The second mission, called the Juno Mission is an exploration and in-depth study of Jupiter, the most massive planet in our Solar System. It was launched on May 8, 2011. It is set to arrive on July 4, 2016. Juno will be the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, following the Galileo probe which orbited from 1995–2003.
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