OSIRIS-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. It is an unmanned spacecraft and NASA’s first mission.
The mission was launched in 2016 to collect samples from asteroid 101955Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid near to earth and return a sample to Earth on 24 September 2023 for detailed analysis. The material returned is expected to enable scientists to learn more about the formation and evolution of the Solar System, its initial stages of planet formation, and the source of organic compounds that led to the formation of life on Earth.
If successful, OSIRIS-REx will be the first U.S. spacecraft to return samples from an asteroid. OSIRIS-Rex is NASA’s third planetary science mission selected in the New Frontiers Program, after Juno and New Horizons.