A laser altimeter instrument Maxar Technologies‘ MDA subsidiary built for a NASA space probe has began to scan and collect data of the asteroid Bennu.
MDA provided the light detection and ranging sensor technology that currently supports the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer under a contract with the Canadian space agency, Maxar said Monday.
NASA launched the spacecraft in 2016 to study and collect physical samples of Bennu, which scientists expect to reveal information about the development of the solar system.
The MDA-built laser technology works to scan the asteroid and generate a 3D model of its shape and exterior structures.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its destination Dec. 3 after a journey of nearly two years. The agency aims to complete the sample return mission in 2023.