The OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) is Canada's contribution to the 2016 NASA OSIRIS-REx mission. This NASA mission launched in 2016 to asteroid 101955 Bennu with the major goal of returning a sample of Bennu. Bennu is very dark B-type asteroid, a rare subgroup of the dark, carbonaceous C-type. These asteroids are considered “primitive” having undergone little processing from their time of formation. This talk will provide a summary of the mission and its objectives. It will also detail the capabilities of OLA - the progenitor of a new class of space exploration lidars that are optimized for small-body exploration. The broader Canadian participation in the mission and the activities underway to prepare for the OLA dataset will also be described.