To celebrate the arrival of the first sample of the world’s most hazardous asteroid this month - on 24th September - Brian's publishing house @londonstereo is publishing a deluxe collectors edition of BENNU 3-D: ANATOMY OF AN ASTEROID
A collaboration between Brian and University of Arizona Professor Dante Lauretta, leader of the [NASA] OSIRIS-REx mission.
Click here to pre-order.
Published on 24 September 2023
Bennu 3-D is the only book to present the entire history of the asteroid from formation over 4.5 billion years ago, right the way through to today’s NASA Osiris-REx mission, and in glorious 3-D.
The pages contain previously unseen stereoscopic (3-D) images of Bennu that provided vital information for the current OSIRIS-REx mission.
There's a limited number of copies of this deluxe edition, released after the success of the standard edition published in July 2023.
Each copy comes with a custom-made bookplate signed by authors, Sir Brian May and Professor Dante Lauretta, leader of the mission. The celebratory edition has been hand-bound, using a traditional Victorian press in classic black Buckram. The front cover, spine and back cover are lavishly decorated in gold foil. A matching hand-made buckram bound slip-case accommodates the rebound book, and a gilded black wibalin envelope contains the full-size original OWL, designed by Brian, that will transform the spectacular images of Bennu into the magic of 3-D.
Brian May says -
“It’s only recently we have begun to understand the enormous significance of asteroids in the fortunes of Planet Earth. It’s long been recognised that some of them have the power to destroy our planet by collision. But it’s now becoming evident that previous asteroid (and cometary) impacts supplied ALL the material from which our entire Biosphere is made - and as such are responsible for our very existence. This, together with the possible benefits to humanity from mining asteroids for minerals, gives us three vital reasons for making close studies of near-Earth asteroids. The OSIRIS-REx mission undertook by far the most intimate exploration of any asteroid to date, and here are the results, the fruits of the labours of a huge team of top scientists and engineers. Our aim has been to deliver this extraordinary portrait in a form which is understandable and enjoyable to scientists and non-scientists alike.”
Professor Dante Lauretta says -
“The delivery of samples from asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is the culmination of almost two decades of intense effort. I am thrilled to share this adventure with the world as we enter the final stage of the mission – sample analysis.”
At 7:05 p.m. on September 8, 2016, a cloudless Florida evening, NASA launched its first asteroid sample return mission, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer — better known as OSIRIS-REx. The spacecraft shot into space aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket, initiating its seven-year expedition to rendezvous with asteroid Bennu in 2018, collect a sample in 2020, and bring it back to Earth in 2023.
Extract from Bennu 3-D
On 24 September 2023, this one-of-a-kind book will land narrating the entire history of Bennu, just as NASA's OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid, returns to Earth with material. When it arrives, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will release the sample capsule for a safe landing in the Utah desert.
Bennu, named for the ancient Egyptian phoenix, was the chosen destination of OSIRIS-REx, NASA's premier mission of asteroid exploration, launched in 2016. The study of the asteroid is crucial in safeguarding the future of planet Earth as it is believed to pose a great threat to Earth in approximately 160 years. Bennu is also a time capsule from the dawn of our Solar System, holding secrets over four-and-a-half billion years old about the origin of life and Earth as a habitable planet. The story behind Bennu is powerfully explored in narrative and beautiful visuals in this fascinating new publication.
In 2020 the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of Bennu and collected pristine asteroid material for delivery to Earth in September 2023. In the meantime, Brian May along with his colleague Claudia Manzoni set about on another mission meticulously creating stereo images from original images collected by the OSIRIS-REx cameras. These in-depth visuals became a part of the successful effort to find a safe landing site for sampling and feature in the book for the public to see for the first time. The striking stereos come to life in the splendour of 3-D with a viewing device designed by Brian and included with each copy.
For Brian and his colleague, Claudia Manzoni, it was an amazing opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the mission by creating stereoscopic images from the O-REx data. The images you see in Bennu 3-D contributed to the crucial search for a safe landing site, enabling the collection of the material sample to be returned to Earth. And now, in this book, these dramatic insights into an asteroid's anatomy can be enjoyed by all.
The text details the data collected by the mission so far and the authors make exciting predictions on what the forthcoming return samples could reveal. Scientific studies of the samples, along with data collected during the rendezvous, promise to help find answers to some of humanity's deepest questions.
This is the book that celebrates the determination, triumph and completion of a long and exciting mission.