The mission's goal is to bring back a material sample from an asteroid, but first, the mission is reaching out to amateur astronomers around the world for help in making it a success.
Guest scientists Dolores Hill and Carl Hergenrother represent an educational outreach arm of the OSIRIS REx mission, called Target Asteroids!. Its purpose is described as an opportunity for amateur astronomers to contribute to basic scientific understanding of near-Earth objects, also known as NEOs.
They are asking, via their website, for amateur astronomers to compile information they may have about asteroids. These observations will then directly support the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.
The Target Asteroids! team hopes to use data from citizen scientists to help refine the plotting of orbits, test models of the dynamical evolution of the solar system and determine the composition of asteroids.
Dolores Hill (left) is the programmatic lead and, Carl Hergenrother (right) is the science lead both apart of OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroids! explain the dynamic of an asteroid.